Fair Housing Act Myths in Maryland

No matter the state or city they live in, every rental property owner should be aware of the federal Fair Housing Act. This act was created to prevent landlords across the country from discriminating against potential tenants for a variety of reasons. 

The Fair Housing Act is essential for tenant rights. That said, following its regulations can be difficult, especially when your local laws come into play as well. Here are a few common myths about the Fair Housing Act. 

Myth: Maryland Law Only Protects Federally Protected Classes

The Fair Housing Act legally protects individuals based on the following principles:

  • Race
  • Sex
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Familial status

However, Maryland landlords should know that their state laws go a step further. Maryland’s law also protects tenants from discrimination based on disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity. 

Myth: Protection Ceases After Move-In

Many landlords believe that the Fair Housing Act’s protections are void once the tenant has signed the lease. The reality is that the Fair Housing Act continues to apply during the lease, preventing landlords from pressuring tenants in protected classes to move or pay higher rent. 

Myth: There Are No Exemptions to the Fair Housing Act Rules

Fair Housing Act guidelines are clear, but there still are some exceptions. For example, owner-occupants renting rooms in their residence and owners with fewer than five units on a rental property may be exempt. 

Myth: Maryland Landlords Only Need to Follow the Fair Housing Act Rules

Landlords in Maryland must understand and follow the Fair Housing Act, but they are also required to respect Maryland’s practices for fair housing. One state-granted right for tenants is freedom from housing activity discrimination, which protects tenants from eviction or punishment based on how they use the property, as long as they follow the lease agreement.

Secure Your Protection With Reliable Property Management

Understanding the law is key to positive landlord-tenant relationships. For a property manager that will ensure the success of your rental, call Reliable Property Management at (443) 869-3799.