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A Review of the Federal Fair Housing Act

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Federal Fair Housing Act

The Federal Fair Housing Act, also known as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act, was passed in 1968. It is an extension that protects families and individuals from being discriminated against by housing providers.

The classes protected from discrimination include race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital and familial status, veteran status, age, handicaps/disabilities, gender identity, sexual orientation, and public assistance. It is important to note that when Congress initially passed the Federal Fair Housing Act, the bill only included four of these protected classes-race, color, religion and national origin. Congress added coverage for sex in 1974, and disabilities and familial status in 1988.

There are certain questions that a landlord is legally not allowed to ask potential tenants. This includes questions regarding race, color, religion, sex, marital and familial status, veteran status, age, handicaps/disabilities, gender identity, sexual orientation, children, and public assistance. If a landlord were to ask a potential tenant any questions involving those topics, the potential tenants would be able to take the landlord to court. Although questions like, “Do you two plan on having children soon?” or “Are you from the Middle East?” may seem like simple “getting to know you” questions, they can lead to serious legal troubles.

If tenants run into questions like these from landlords, they are able to claim that they have experienced severe emotional distress from discrimination. Even if the tenant does end up renting from the landlord, they are still able to say that they underwent mental agony. Scenarios like these can lead a landlord to have to appear before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination or be taken to court.

Demetrios Salpoglou

Demetrios Salpoglou

Published June 18, 2016

Demetrios Salpoglou is the CEO of which is an information and technology based services company that provides cutting edge resources to real estate companies. Demetrios has developed over 90 real estate related websites and owns hundreds of domain names. Demetrios also owns and operates six leading real estate offices with over 120 agents.

Demetrios has pulled together the largest apartment leasing team in the Greater Boston Area and is responsible for procuring more apartment rentals than anyone in New England – with over 130k people finding their housing through his services. Demetrios is an avid real estate developer, peak performance trainer, educator, guest lecturer and motivational speaker.