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Fair Housing Laws in Maryland

Fair Housing Laws were introduced to America with the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Fair Housing Act in 1968. These laws reinforced the notion that every person, regardless of race, class, and religion, had the right to buy or rent property regardless of the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, or their gender. Furthermore, housing providers are required by law to provide an equal level of service regardless of a person’s race, religion, color, creed, sex, national origin, family status, or disability.  Baltimore real estate broker, Ben Frederick, continues to hold Fair Housing Laws to a high standard to ensure that every client is treated equally.

Federal, State, and Local Laws

Fair Housing Laws stipulate that a property owner, broker, or agent cannot discriminate based on the protected classes. The “Protected Classes” defined in Federal Law are race, religion, color, creed, sex, national origin, family and handicap as protected classes.  States and localities have added additional “protected classes”.     

Discriminating Based on Objective Criteria

Brokers and landlords must protect themselves from unsatisfactory tenants, which is why the tenant screening process is necessary. Discriminating based on objective criteria means that the landlord is not discriminating based on any of the protected classes. For Ben Frederick, there are three criteria that every tenant must meet.

  1. The tenant must have an income to support the rent.
  2. They must have good credit, or reasonable credit, and must not have a criminal background that could be negative to the community.
  3. They must have an excellent rental history.

Some landlords discriminate based on other objective criteria, such as discriminating against pet owners and smokers.

Providing Equal Service

Several protected classes affect individual cities and counties. In Baltimore City, a person cannot discriminate based on age, ancestry, or gender identity. It’s essential to avoid discriminating based on the availability of housing but also on the service provided. If a broker provides one client with a certain level of service, he or she must offer every other person the same level of service. Everyone is to be treated equally and given the same opportunities to rent housing and equal access to housing. If a person violates the law, they could be subject to a hefty fine, or worse.

Questions? Contact Ben Frederick Realty to Learn More

For more information regarding apartment property in Baltimore, contact Ben Frederick Realty.  For three generations and over 100 years the Frederick family has been helping investors and owners of multi-unit and apartment properties and can be reached at (410) 752-6400 or by email using our contact page.