Familial Status Discrimination – Part III: Potential Liability for Landlords

Author: Trina M. Clayton There has been a marked increase in familial status suits over the past several years, with many more that settle under confidential agreements for monetary damages, making the potential for these claims quite serious.  A landlord found to be in violation of familial status housing laws could incur any number of penalties including: Civil penalties of up to $16,000 for a first violation and $65,000 for future violations; Actual damages to reimburse a tenant or prospective … Continued

Familial Status Discrimination – Part II: Tenancy

Author: Trina M. Clayton It is important to understand that familial status discrimination may occur at any stage of property rental.  Our earlier blog described some of the pitfalls a landlord might run into during the pre-tenancy period.  Here, we will explore potential areas of concern during tenancy. Examples of Familial Status Discrimination Refusing to rent to families with children. Charging a higher security deposit to families with children even if the family has a good rental history. Increasing rent … Continued

Familial Status Discrimination – Part I: Pre-Tenancy

Author: Trina M. Clayton Federal and California fair housing laws, most notably the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601, et seq.) and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (Cal. Gov. Code §§ 12900, et seq.), prohibit discrimination in housing rental or conditions based on specific protected classes, such as race, sex, religion, disability, and (the subject of this blog post) familial status. Familial status refers to any household with children under the age of 18.  It applies whether the minor … Continued