Friday, April 12, the Mayor signed Council Bill 19-308 which prohibits discrimination in rental housing based on a tenant’s “source of income”. This means that landlords can no longer refuse to accept Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers or to refuse to accept co-signors for tenants who lack the income to pay the rent on their own.
We suggest that all rental property owners, no matter how small or large the portfolio, have a written credit approval policy and abide by those policies so that all residents and applicants are treated in the same manner regardless of their circumstances. Having a written policy, that is signed by all employees, agents, and owners is the best way to ensure that all laws are complied with and is a good defense in the event one is accused of discriminatory practices.
At Ben Frederick Realty, we strongly support policies, procedures, and most importantly, actions, where all people are treated with respect and dignity and the availability of housing is offered regardless of a person’s status in any given protected class. We advocate rental property owners and service providers treat everyone with quality service regardless of their status in any given protected class. We are encouraged that a recent study showed a 90% reduction in the incidence of rental housing discrimination among blacks from 1977 to the present.
Ben Frederick III appeared as WBAL-TV’s Kate Amara reported on this legislative development.