Why is a basic understanding of fair housing laws so important? Who needs to know them? How often should they be reviewed? This article goes back to basics to discuss what fair housing is and why it’s essential.
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We see a massive shift in the industry due to the labor shortage. As new people join the property management industry, it is critical that they have a working knowledge and training on how the Fair Housing Act applies to them and how they complete their job.
To Whom Does the Fair Housing Act Apply?
There is no simple answer to this question, but to keep it basic, you could say that the Fair Housing Act applies to anybody who rents, leases, or sells any land, property, or dwelling. If you work in the property management industry, the Fair Housing Act likely applies to you at almost any level you are currently employed. Even if you are a third-party provider such as a vendor or contractor and you have contact and are interacting with residents, guests, or prospects, fair housing laws apply to you as well.
Why Does Someone Working in Property Management Need to Know About Fair Housing?
In simplest terms, a clear understanding of fair housing laws protects your job. Just as with any other type of employment, there are specific rules and protocols that affect how you complete your job. For property management professionals, this is the Fair Housing Act.
More is needed than best intentions towards your residents or prospects. You need to know and understand fair housing-based policies and procedures to protect your company, make sure your residents have a good experience, and, again, protect yourself and your career. Not doing this can result in complaints being filed against you and a fair housing investigation launched. A fair housing investigation costs so much time and money and can result in the loss of careers. Added to that is the PR and marketing nightmare that happens due to a claim.
Which Aspects of Managing a Property Are Affected by Fair Housing?
Each and every one of them; just to varying degrees depending on the department. For example, fair housing training would be different for maintenance professionals than for someone who works in sales or accounting. Further, every employee needs to know exactly how the Fair Housing Act applies to their particular job, and this goes for all property management companies regardless of size.
As you can see, fair housing permeates the property management industry. Every employee needs to at least know the basics and complete regular training. You can protect yourself and maintain your fair housing compliance by doing this.
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