The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination of individuals based on several factors, including sex, race, color, natural origin, religion, handicap, or familial status. Discrimination can be much more, or subtler, than just refusing to rent a dwelling.
- Refusing to negotiate
- Using different terms and conditions
- Providing different housing
- Lying about availability of housing
- Persuading owners to leave
- Denying services for renting or selling
In addition to these restrictions, Florida has additional fair housing laws, called the Florida Fair Housing Act. It parallels the fair housing act in terms of making it illegal to discriminate in the renting, buying, selling, advertising or providing brokerage services for housing. This basically means any party—from a real estate agent to mortgage broker to ad agency—cannot be caught discriminating or only appealing to a certain population segment when it comes to housing services.
Discrimination can come in many forms—it’s doesn’t have to be an outright refusal of service. Any time it can be proven that a person is treating any one of a protected class of individuals in a consistent way that results in a less desirable experience than others, that’s discrimination. It could be giving individuals with therapy dogs units with bad carpet or charging certain people more for a security deposit.
Violation of the Fair Housing Act can include civil judgments, criminal charges, and even jail time depending on the type of discrimination. Many times, more violent and flagrant violations of the act can be prosecuted under separate criminal laws as hate crimes.
Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have close to 10 years of experience handling Real Estate, Personal Injury, Immigration and Commercial Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.