Discrimination is always a hot political topic. The discussion can be about people experiencing discrimination at work, services being denied, or a person being profiled by police because of some social class issue. Now we hear talk about discrimination and bathroom use. Fort Worth property management companies need to be particularly clear on the subject of discrimination and housing. The current federal Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination when renting, buying, or seeking needed funding for housing in seven specially protected classes:
- National Origin
- Familial Status
Discrimination can show up in how Fort Worth property management companies advertise or dishonestly change the availability of a unit. “Fair housing laws are long-time standards in real estate,” said Mike Jeppson COO of Specialized Property Management Specialized in Dallas. “Landlords that operate their rental units with integrity will carefully be aware of the existing fair housing laws and any changes that are made to the law down the road,” he notes.
Texas state fair housing laws remain the same as those at the federal level. However, major cities in Texas have added to the fair housing protected classes for their particular city. Dallas has added sexual orientation to their list of protected classes of citizens is one of 17 cities in Texas that have amended their fair housing rules. Fort Worth property management companies need to be aware that their city has added an amendment to their fair housing classes also and have included sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and transgender.
“It’s good business to follow the law,” says Jeppson, “and it’s also good business to be more accepting of those around us.” To avoid fines that come with discriminating practices in property management, Fort Worth investors need regularly to review the law and their management practices.