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How does the Fair Housing Act protect renters and buyers?

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Having the right place to live is important. People in Michigan take time to find the right neighborhood, the right size, layout and price. They may be looking for a rental or looking to buy a home, but generally people will make sure they find the right place for their needs. Once they have found the right place, people expect that they will be able to begin their lease or complete the purchase of the home after completing the appropriate documentation and making the required payments.

Sometimes people may be denied for various reasons though. People hoping to buy a home may find themselves in a bidding war with other potential buyers and may eventually lose that bidding war. People may lose out on a certain rental because another renter was able to sign a lease before them. These may be disappointing reasons to lose out on renting or buying a certain home, but they are legal reasons that people may not end up with the home that they wanted.

Examples of violations of Fair Housing Act

In some instances though, people may be denied a rental or the purchase of a house based on discrimination. If this occurs, it is a violation of the Fair Housing Act. This is a federal law that prohibits many different actions on the basis of people’s race, gender, religion, disability, national origin, familial status and other protected classes. Some of the acts that are prohibited are refusing to sell or rent, not negotiating, lying about the availability, setting different terms or prices for different people, offering different services and many other acts which make it difficult for people to rent or buy based on being in a protected class.

It is very unfortunate when people in Michigan are unable to either rent or buy the place that they want. However, it is even more disappointing when they do not get the place based on discrimination. It is also illegal and people who violate the law could be fined and may need to pay punitive damages for breaking the law. Experienced attorneys understand how housing discrimination occurs and may be able to protect people’s rights.