Per Section 804 (c) of the Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to make, print, or publish any notice or statement with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that includes a preference or limitation based on a protected class. Avoid posting discriminatory statements on social media or in any type of advertising. Posting discriminatory statements will be very difficult to defend in court or during an administrative complaint investigation process.
You want to make sure that nothing in your ad can be interpreted as discriminatory. Your ads should stick to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, rental price, location, lease terms and amenities and special features of the property. A good rule of thumb is to describe the unit itself and not the desired qualities of potential occupants.
The following are examples of illegal advertising:
- “No kids”
- “Perfect for single or couple”
- “Christian home”
- “Apartment not suitable for handicapped person”
- “Italian neighborhood”
- “Mature adults preferred”
- “Prefer single female”
- “Not suitable for families with kids due to the stairs”
- “Great for retired couple or young professional”