As a Las Vegas landlord and property manager, it is important to understand the fair housing laws so that you can protect your interests. These laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of ethnic race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. In this article, we will break down the Las Vegas fair housing laws and explain what you need to know to protect yourself.
What is the Fair Housing Act?
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) is a standing federal law that prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on the protected classes mentioned above. This law applies to all types of housing, including single-family homes, apartments, and condominiums. Additionally, the FHA makes it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on those protected classes.
The Nevada Fair Housing Law
In addition to the federal FHA, Nevada has its own fair housing laws that provide additional protections against discrimination. The Nevada Fair Housing Law (NFHL) prohibits discrimination against the same protected classes as the FHA, but it also includes additional protections for victims of domestic violence or stalking. The NFHL also prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
The following are some of the key provisions of the NFHL:
- It is illegal to discriminate against tenants in the sale, rental, or financing of housing based on the protected classes mentioned above, as well as sexual orientation and any kind of gender identity or expression.
- It is illegal to advertise any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on those protected classes.
- It is illegal to coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with anyone exercising their fair housing rights.
- Landlords must make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities, such as allowing a service animal or installing grab bars in the bathroom.
- Landlords must also allow tenants with disabilities to make reasonable modifications to their unit, such as installing a wheelchair ramp.
Prohibited Actions under Fair Housing Laws
- Discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of housing can take many forms. Here are some examples of actions that are prohibited under the fair housing laws:
- Refusing to rent or sell housing to someone based on their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.
- Setting different terms or conditions for renting or selling housing based on those protected classes.
- Providing different services or facilities based on those protected classes.
- Falsely denying (lying) that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental.
- Refusing to make reasonable accommodations for a tenant with a disability.
- Retaliating against someone for exercising their fair housing rights.
Enforcement of Fair Housing Laws
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is held responsible for enforcing the federal fair housing laws. Anyone can file a complaint with HUD within one year of the alleged discrimination. HUD will investigate the complaint and attempt to resolve it through conciliation.
In Nevada, the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC) is responsible for enforcing the NFHL. Like HUD, NERC investigates complaints of housing discrimination and attempts to resolve them through conciliation.
If conciliation fails, either HUD or NERC can and will often file a lawsuit on behalf of the victim of discrimination. If they win the suit, the victim may be awarded damages, including compensatory damages for emotional distress, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees.
Managing Your Property with The Rental Lister
Navigating and adhering to the various housing laws and regulations is vital to any form of rental property management. Making sure these laws are followed to the letter is one of the many important Las Vegas property management tasks that we provide here at The Rental Lister. We are so sure that you will be happy with our service, we offer various guarantees that make trying our service completely risk free.
Call us today!