What are the Housing Discrimination Laws in Florida?

When anyone is in the market to buy or sell a home, he or she is supposed to be given due consideration, without prejudice or bias. Two federal laws, Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Fair Housing Act Amendments Act of 1988, provide protections for equal access to housing. This not only includes those in the market to buy a home, but also, to those who are selling. Lenders, owners, and all others involved in the process, are legally prohibited from showing favor or opposition to “protected categories.” These categories include, but are not limited to: race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, and family status.

Federal Housing Discrimination Laws

Both the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the federal Fair Housing Act Amendments Act of 1988 put forth explicit provisions regarding housing discrimination. In addition to these, there are a number of presidential executive orders to provide more protections. As the nearby quote explains, a seller, mortgage lender, or landlord cannot legally withhold, dissuade, or deny an individual access to housing on the basis of his or her age, religion, disability, as well as those others mentioned above.

“Housing discrimination occurs when a seller, landlord, lender, or real estate agent discriminates against a person in the sale, rental or financing of house, condo or apartment. Federal and state governments regulate housing discrimination under the Fair Housing Act and individual state anti-discrimination statutes. The Fair Housing Act prohibits property owners, financial institutions and landlords from discriminating against prospective tenants or buyers on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, family status or disability. Discrimination under the Fair Housing Act may take many different forms.” —Justia

Such laws are administered by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. In June of 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of civil rights groups to further access to housing, as reported by USA Today. This continues a trend in the legal system and society at-large. In addition to federal law, there are several states that strictly prohibit housing discrimination. This gives same-sex couples more access to real property, whether renting or buying.

What are the Housing Discrimination Laws in Florida?

The housing discrimination laws in Florida are quite similar to federal statutes. Under Chapter 760 of the Florida Statutes and the federal and Florida Fair Housing Act, all of the following acts are considered to be discriminatory:

  • The refusal to rent or sell housing
  • A false denial housing is available for inspection, rental, or sale
  • The refusal to make available a home mortgage loan
  • The imposition of different conditions or terms on a mortgage note or loan
  • To threaten, coerce, or intimidate any individual exercising his or her fair housing right
  • The refusal of reasonable changes to your dwelling to accommodate an individual with a disability

Any person who experiences such discriminatory acts is allowed under Florida law, to file a claim with the state through the Florida Commission on Human Relations.

City of Orlando Housing Discrimination Human Relations

In addition to federal and state statutes, the City of Orlando Human Relations is a proponent for those who have experienced discriminatory acts, including housing discrimination. This entity accepts and investigates housing discrimination claims in Orlando under both Chapter 57 of the City Code, and, contractual agreements with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).