The Landlord Tenant Act, also more commonly known as the Fair Housing Act, outlines very extensively the way in which housing can be accessed in the United States. It governs things like discrimination and enforcement of certain rules and regulations. It is overseen by HUD which stands for Housing and Urban Development. In cases where tenants feel that their rights have been violated because of discrimination on the part of the landlord, they are allowed to file a complaint with HUD which are then investigated by the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
In cases where the tenant is not able to successfully resolve the issue on their own, OFHEO will determine whether or not any discriminatory actions have taken place.
Important changes have been made to the Landlord Tenant Act especially with regard to matters pertaining to person over the age of 55. The most important changes had to do with the requirement that housing for persons over the age of 55 have significant services and facilities for the elderly.
It states that there must be at least one person over the age of 55 living in at least 80% of its inhabited units. Senior housing units are also required to publish and follow all policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent to function as housing for person over the age of 55.
Changes were also made which enhanced law enforcement and included penalties for violating the Landlord Tenant Act.
The Landlord Tenant Act covers almost all dwellings. Owner-occupied buildings which have fewer than four units, any single-family housing which is sold or rented without using a broker or any housing that is operated or owned by organization or private clubs which limit occupancy to its members are exempt.
The Landlord Tenant Act specifically prohibits any landlord or seller or property from discriminating against another person because of race, color, origin of nationality, sex or sexual preference, familial status religion or handicap. They may not refuse to rent or even sell housing based on any of these criteria. They may not refuse to negotiate for house or make the housing unavailable or deny a dwelling to a prospective renter or buyer based on these criteria. They are prohibited from setting different terms or privileges or providing any different housing to the person. They are prohibited from falsely denying that the housing is available for inspection or rental in order to prevent the person from renting the property.
The Landlord Tenant Act prohibits lenders from denying a loan based on the same criteria. They are also prohibited from discriminating when appraising property for the purpose of assessing value prior to sale.
It also makes it illegal for a person to threaten, intimidate or otherwise attempt to coerce anyone who is attempting to exercise their fair housing right or who is assisting another person in exercising their fair housing right.
People who have disabilities or who live with a person who has a disability enjoy a great amount of protection under this law. It does not matter if the disability is physical or mental, they are protected.