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Can Landlords Reject Tenants with Housing Vouchers in Florida?

By |September 12th, 2018|FL|

Miami-Dade County requires landlords to accept vouchers from tenants, but other localities in Florida do not. Click here for the latest updates. Voucher Policy Landlords cannot deny tenants an apartment (or otherwise discriminate against them) based on the fact that their income (or part of their income) comes from government financial assistance programs including Section 8 vouchers. Aside from denying an application, landlords cannot charge voucher holders more, segregate them to a different section of a building than non-voucher holders, or provide them different services or amenities from non-Section 8 tenants. Fla. Stat. 760.23 , Fla. Stat. 760.37 , Fla. Stat. Sec. 760.23 . Enforcement and Reporting Problems Enforcement is handled by the local government of Miami-Dade County. Tenants should report problems and see details with that locality's law. The localities that offer such protections are changes quickly, so please [...]

Age Discrimination in Florida Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|FL|

Florida does not directly prohibit landlords from discriminating against tenants based on their age. However, landlords should be careful to avoid discriminating against children and families (whom are protected under federal and state law). Additionally, discriminating against a senior because of their disability is prohibited under federal and state fair housing law which protects those with mental and physical health conditions. Segregating by Age A typical technique by landlords to minimize conflict between tenants is to group sections of buildings or advertise units for certain ages. For example, a landlord may advertise a trendy and loud neighborhood to younger tenants. A landlord might list a home in a quiet neighborhood is best for the elderly. Florida landlords are free to advertise units as ideal for certain age groups and to deny housing to people who do not fit those criteria [...]

Discrimination Against Mental or Physical Health Conditions in Florida Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|FL|

Florida and federal law give tenants strong protections when landlords discriminate against their mental or physical health conditions. Landlords are required to provide reasonable accommodations for tenants' handicaps. What's Covered? Florida and federal law cover mental and physical health-related handicaps. A "health condition" is much broader than a diagnosed disease in official medical books. It can be any mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Conditions that may not obviously be a disability qualify for protection, such as a sports injury, hoarding tendencies, or paranoia. Of course, medically diagnosed conditions also qualify, such as HIV, cancer, Alzheimer's, or bipolar disorder. The law also covers tenants that had a history of such an impairment and tenants who have been regarded as having such an impairment. Fla. Stat. 760.23 , Fla. Stat. 760.37 , Fla. Stat. [...]

Discrimination of Families, Pregnant Women, and Children in Florida Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|FL|

It is illegal in Florida (and federally) for landlords to discriminate against tenants based on their having children, being pregnant, or otherwise their familial status. Children must be provided equal access to all facilities and services offered to adults. Family Restrictions Most types of restrictions on families with children violate Florida and federal law. For example, charging tenants with children higher rent or a higher deposit, advertising an apartment as being only for families (or not for families), putting an age limit for children, and placing all families in one part of the building are all illegal. Fla. Stat. 760.23 , Fla. Stat. 760.37 , Fla. Stat. Sec. 760.23 . Rights of Children Landlords that treat children and adults differently are violating the law that prohibits landlords from discriminating against a tenant's familial status. Thus, prohibiting children from playing in [...]

Discrimination of Source of Income in Florida Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|FL|

Florida does not protect tenants from landlords who deny an apartment application based on the type of job they have. There are few exceptions when the job is related to the tenant's gender, race, religion, or other protected categories under the Fair Housing Act. Some states, counties, and cities may block landlords from discriminating against Section 8 Voucher tenant applicants and landlords should know it's illegal to have a blanket policy of denying all applicants with a criminal record. Section 8 Voucher Recipients Some localities in Florida prohibit landlords from discriminating against tenants who are attempting to use Section 8 vouchers. In particular, these areas have laws prohibiting discrimination against voucher holders: Miami-Dade County. Landlords are always free to deny Section 8 applications for the same reasons they would deny any other tenant (e.g., for having a felony murder in [...]

Racial Discrimination in Florida Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|FL|

Florida protects tenants from discriminatory practices by their landlord based on their race, color, national origin, and ancestry. Similarly, tenants also have protection under the federal law from discrimination based on their race, color, and national origin. Discriminatory Actions Discrimination is broader than just saying a certain race cannot rent an apartment. Discrimination includes: interfering with a tenant's use and enjoyment of the property based on their race, color, national origin, or ancestrydenying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their race, color, national origin, or ancestrydenying a loan based on their race, color, national origin, or ancestrypressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain race, color, national origin, or ancestry in the neighborhooddenying an apartment or application based on their race, color, national origin, or ancestryfalsely stating an apartment is [...]

Religious Discrimination in Florida Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|FL|

Florida protects tenants from discriminatory practices by their landlord based on their religion. Tenants also have similar protections under federal law. Discriminatory Actions Discrimination covers quite a bit more than just landlords who refuse to rent to certain religions. Discrimination includes: refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant's religioninterfering with a tenant's use and enjoyment of the property based on their religiondenying a loan based on their religionadvertising an apartment that's for or not for a person based on their religionmaking zoning or land use restrictions based on religiondenying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their religionfalsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant's religiondenying an apartment or application based on their religioncharging different rent or offering different amenities based on religionpressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on [...]

Sex, Gender, and LGBT-Based Discrimination in Florida Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|FL|

Florida law (and federal law) protects tenants from discrimination based on their sex or gender. This covers everything from offering lower rent for sexual favors to advertising men or women only apartments. Florida has no explicit protections for LGBT tenants, but federal and state protections against discriminating by one's gender offers some indirect protections in certain cases. To be safe, landlords should be careful about treating LGBT tenants differently. Sexism Florida law and federal law protect tenants from discrimination based on their sex (e.g., male, female). This protects tenants from most kinds of sexist acts, including making zoning or land use restrictions based on sex, falsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant's sex, refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant's sex, denying an apartment or application based on their sex, interfering with a tenant's [...]