Being a landlord can come with a long list of responsibilities. These include abiding by the state and federal fair housing laws. For instance, the U.S. Fair Housing Act is a federal law that prohibits discrimination in home rentals (as well as home sales and financing) based upon a person’s race, religion, color, national origin, and gender.
In the state of Florida, based on Florida Statute 760.20 – 760.60, there are some additional criteria, which include prohibiting discrimination against those who have a disability (physical and / or mental), as well as based on family status (such as the prospective tenant having children under the age of 18 and / or the individual being pregnant).
All of these individuals are referred to as protected classes. And, in addition to being protected while searching for a unit or home to rent, such individuals are also protected during their time of residence in a home that they are renting (or purchasing). With that in mind, it is important to have a good understanding of what may constitute an infringement of the U.S. and state housing laws, and to be mindful of how to closely follow them.
Housing discrimination in Florida may not necessarily always be brought to a landlord’s attention right away, either. In fact in the Sunshine State, an aggrieved individual has the right to file a civil lawsuit up to two years after he or she has been discriminated against.
Although being a landlord can require a number of responsibilities, you don’t have to take them all on yourself. By partnering with an experienced property management team, you can instead delegate many of the time-consuming tasks such as advertising and screening for tenants.
If you own property in Orlando and / or the Central Florida area, then give us a call today for more information on how working with a property manager could be beneficial for you.