4 Terms You Need to Add to Your Rental Agreements Today

As a landlord, you know how important contracts are. Rental agreements provide a legally binding contract between you (or your property management company) and the tenant(s) occupying your property. A landlord without sound contracts is bound to lose out on income meant to provide for their family.

Every rental agreement should include the basics like names, lease term, rental costs, notice requirements for vacating the property, etc., but there are some lesser-used terms that more landlords should consider to protect their tenants and their income.

Working with an attorney to add the following terms to your rental contracts could be vital for the future of your investments.

  1. Subleasing Clauses

Do you want your tenants to be able to sublease if they can’t complete their rental contract? Sometimes tenants need to move before their lease is up. This often puts landlords in a tough position to decide whether or not to release a tenant from the terms they agreed to. Doing so regularly means future tenants may have the legal right to be released from a lease even if you don’t agree.

Subleasing gives tenants the opportunity to find another individual or individuals to fulfill their rental obligations and continue on as tenants. If you do not want this, then it should be specified in the contract. Florida law allows subleasing unless the landlord has strictly forbidden it.

At the very least, your lease should include a condition that requires landlord approval before subleasing the space.

  1. Guest Clauses

You agreed to let two people rent out your condo, but suddenly they’ve got two other guests staying long-term. They’re adding wear and tear to the property and creating additional liability for you as the landlord.

Guest clauses provide specific and clear restrictions and rules on guests entering and staying on your properties. It’s reasonable to limit guests to short stints (anywhere from a few days to two weeks) and require additional payment if any guests stay longer than a week or two at the property.

You also may want to consider requiring identification for guests who will be staying for more than a few days. Not only do you protect yourself from additional wear and tear and liability but you protect the guests by knowing who is permitted to come in and out of the property.

Include language that puts liability for the damage and injuries of a guest on the tenant themselves.

  1. Appliance Repair or Replacement Guarantees (or Lack Thereof)

Many tenants enter a space and believe everything within it is guaranteed to either work or be replaced. As a landlord, this means you are on the hook for repairing every single issue with an appliance that comes in.

Is this something you are able to afford and want to be doing? Some landlords include lease clauses that stipulate which specific appliances are guaranteed and which are the tenant’s responsibility should the appliance need to be replaced.

  1. Dispute Resolution

Some tenants raise legal issues with landlords. It happens, and you need protection. Arbitration clauses in rental agreements prevent those disputes from going into an ugly legal battle and instead provide a simple dispute resolution process with tenants.

If you are dealing with a difficult tenant and need legal help to manage the situation or simply need help updating your rental contracts, contact Atlas Law today for a landlord’s advocate.

What Information Can Florida Landlords Gather to Screen Potential Tenants?

Florida landlords benefit from working and owning properties in such an appealing state. People want to live in the Sunshine State, as evidenced by the recent U.S. Census report that Florida is the fastest-growing state in the nation. Generally, this means any vacancy will see droves of applicants looking for a place to live. This does not guarantee every landlord will see good applicants, however.

Landlords need to weed out the bad tenants who pose a threat to their properties. Screening applicants will help you do this, but it’s imperative that all local laws and regulations surrounding tenant screening are followed to avoid lawsuits against you and your business.

Personal information

You obviously need to know who it is that’s applying for your property. This means gathering certain personal information during the application process, including:

  • Name(s)
  • Current residential address
  • Former residential addresses if the current residence is recent or temporary
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Driver’s license number
  • Social security number

That last piece is obviously a vital piece of private information that must be protected. You and your team need to be careful about how and where sensitive information is received and stored.

Background checks

What’s important to note is that just because an applicant gives you their social security number does not mean they are consenting to a background check. Florida law requires express written consent for any background check to be conducted, so your application should include a section that explicitly asks for said consent.

A background check will be important to ensure the safety of your property, people, and community. You create financial liability if you ignore certain red flags and can also decrease your property value if crimes occur on or near your property.

Florida does not allow landlords to apply any blanket rules automatically denying tenancy due to a criminal record. All applicants must be considered even if they have a criminal record, but you are not required to approve them, either.

Financial information

A tenant who cannot pay rent does not serve you or your business. Asking for financial documents like pay stubs, tax forms, and bank statements is permitted to ensure a potential tenant can afford housing costs.

Florida law does allow landlords to have minimum income requirements for properties. However, a recent trend of implementing a “tenant bill of rights” in several municipalities is challenging the way landlords gather and use information related to income sources.

As with any personal information, these documents must be tightly protected and only used when necessary.

Animal information

This one can get tricky. You are undeniably permitted to have a strict no-pet policy for your properties. However, there are loopholes for valid reasons that landlords cannot afford to miss.

You are allowed to ask for information about any pets. However, a tenant does not have to disclose if they have a qualified service or emotional support animal. These pets can live in any property, even if the landlord has a strict no-pet policy.

If you approve a tenant and they later inform you of this, you can only ask for documentation and information about the pet to confirm qualification. You should not press for information about the reasons the animal is needed or about the severity of a tenant’s disability.

Some people have attempted to abuse emotional support animal guidelines, so it’s important to be aware of how these laws work and when you can actually kick a tenant out for attempting to subvert the process.

Have an attorney review your application process

Are you unsure whether or not your application process violates these or other guidelines/laws in Florida? An attorney can review your application process and ensure you are gathering all the appropriate information, guaranteeing you the opportunity to select the right tenants for your properties.

When you need a landlord’s advocate, look no further than Atlas Law.

New Tort Reform Law Includes Protections for Multifamily Residential Properties in Negligent Security Claims

A new law in Florida has garnered serious attention from the public as people raised concerns over House Bill 837 and what it means for bad-faith insurance actions and recovery of medical expenses/attorney fees. Another element of the bill that hasn’t quite captured the attention the way the tens of thousands of cases filed in the leadup to the signing of the bill has is the portion of the law intended to protect multifamily residential property owners and landlords.

HB 837 rewards owners and operators of multifamily residential properties in Florida who take specific security measures to protect residents. If you own and/or operate these properties you should be aware of the significant potential embedded in this bill.

Presumption Against Liability

On this subject, the law itself reads:

“[T]he owner or principal operator of a multifamily residential property which substantially implements specified security measures on that property has a presumption against liability for negligence in connection with certain criminal acts that occur on the premises.”

In relatively plain language, the above gives multifamily property owners and/or landlords additional protections when specific security measures have been implemented on the property. This means you would be given the presumption against liability for negligence should certain crimes occur on the property while those security measures are in place.

Implementing Security Measures

The law also defines the security measures that you should implement as soon as possible (if you haven’t already) in order to reap the benefits of this presumption. If you own or operate a residential property with “at least five dwelling units on a particular parcel,” the security measures you should implement according to HB 837 are:

  • A security camera system that covers each point of entrance and exit with recordings maintained for at least 30 days
  • A lighted parking lot illuminated at an intensity “of at least an average of 1.8 foot-candles per square foot at 18 inches above the surface from dusk until dawn” or controlled by a photocell or similar electronic device
  • Lighting in walkways, laundry rooms, common areas, and porches that remains on from dusk until dawn or is controlled by a photocell or similar device
  • At least a one-inch deadbolt on each unit door
  • A locking device on each window, exterior sliding doors, and any doors not used for community purposes
  • Locked gates with key or fob access along pool fences
  • A peephole or door viewer on each unit door that does not itself have a window on or next to the door

Crime Prevention Requirements

In addition, owners or operators of these units have a few crime prevention tasks to complete by January 1, 2025.

One item is to complete a crime prevention through environmental design assessment by January 1, 2025. This assessment cannot be more than three years old by that date and must be performed by a law enforcement agency or Florida Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Practitioner.

Additionally, all current employees must be trained in crime deterrence and safety training by January 1, 2025, and all future employees must be trained within 60 days of their hire date thereafter. This training must be reviewed and updated as necessary every three years.

Atlas Law Can Help You Navigate HB 837

This law can protect you and the properties you own. The requirements to actually benefit from the changes, however, will be extensive and require careful attention. The team at Atlas Law has reviewed the law and can help you get a better understanding of the law in order to implement the necessary changes to protect yourself and your property.

Should you face a negligence lawsuit after implementing these measures, contact our team right away to protect what you have worked hard to build.

Florida Municipalities Adopting “Tenant Bill of Rights” Legislation

Continued friction between landlords and their tenants has produced a number of proposed solutions. This relationship exists as a two-way street, but each side has some conflicting interests that can worsen these circumstances.

Landlords need to protect their livelihoods and ensure their properties are cared for by tenants. Tenants need a place to live that has the necessary amenities and safety and falls within their range of affordability.

In the past, public officials have provided pathways for both sides to succeed – but a recent shift in favor of tenants has produced some changes that create new challenges for landlords. Tenant (or renter) “bill of rights” legislation has become a bit of a theme for certain municipalities in Florida. So far, we have seen Hillsborough County, Orange County, Pinellas County, Miami-Dade County, and Broward County draft and adopt these bills.

Hillsborough County

Hillsborough County officials passed its “Tenant’s Bill of Rights” last year (2022). The county claims this bill would “provide additional protections to residential tenants … including protection from income discrimination.”

The terms of the bill include:

  • Landlords must provide a notice of rights to all tenants (present and future)
  • Landlords may not refuse tenancy due to a tenant’s “lawful source of income” or public assistance program status
  • Landlords may not exclude government rent subsidies in the calculation for rental eligibility
  • Landlords may not charge late fees without first providing a written notice (can be done on paper or through email)
  • Rent cannot be raised more than 5% without at least 60 days’ notice to the tenant
  • Landlords must provide at least 30 days’ notice if a lease will not be renewed

Violations of these terms would result in a $500 for each offense.

Orange County

Orange County officials passed their own tenant bill of rights that went into effect in March 2023. The terms include:

  • Landlords must provide a notice of rights to all tenants (present and future)
  • Rent cannot be raised more than 5% without at least 60 days’ notice to the tenant
  • Landlords may not refuse tenancy due to a tenant’s source of income or public assistance program status
  • All tenant fees must be disclosed upfront
  • The right to maintenance of a rental unit in line with building, housing, and health codes
  • A requirement to return a security deposit or provide written notice of a damage claim
  • Reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities

Violations of these terms would result in non-criminal civil litigation.

Pinellas County

In Pinellas County, the tenant bill of rights went into effect in August 2022. The terms are similar with a few minor changes to the notice of rent price increases. A notice of an increase above 5% must be given 60 days in advance if the rental agreement is for one year or more, 30 days in advance if the agreement is more than three months but less than a year, and 15 days in advance if the term is month-to-month.

Additional terms include:

  • Landlords must provide a notice of rights to all tenants (present and future)
  • Landlords may not refuse tenancy due to a tenant’s source of income or public assistance program status
  • Landlords may not charge late fees without first providing a written notice (can be done on paper or through email)

If there are city ordinances that conflict with the terms of this bill, the city ordinance will take precedence. Violations of these terms can result in a $500 for each offense.

Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade County’s tenant bill of rights went into effect on May 3, 2022. The terms include:

  • Landlords must provide a notice of rights to all tenants (present and future)
  • Rent cannot be raised more than 5% without at least 60 days’ notice to the tenant
  • Landlords may not refuse tenancy due to a tenant’s source of income or public assistance program status
  • Landlords cannot terminate or interrupt utility services if a tenant occupies the dwelling
  • Landlords cannot attempt to collect rent or take action against a tenant if the tenant lives in a condo and the landlord is delinquent on paying condominium association fees
  • Month-to-month rental terms cannot be terminated without 60-days’ notice
  • Rent cannot be raised more than 5% without at least 60 days’ notice to the tenant

The ordinance also establishes a helpline that will connect tenants to the proper resources or organizations should the need arise. A tenant may file civil litigation within two years of an alleged violation of these terms.

Broward County

Broward County’s tenant bill of rights went into effect on September 1, 2022, and applies to any residential leases that go into effect after that date. The terms include:

  • Landlords must provide a notice of rights to all tenants (present and future) and again prior to each rental term or once a year for month-to-month tenants
  • Landlords may not charge late fees without first providing a written notice (can be done on paper or through email)
  • Landlords may not refuse tenancy due to a tenant’s source of income or public assistance program status
  • Tenants have a right to challenge an eviction
  • Landlords must provide 60 days’ notice to terminate annual leases, 30 days’ notice to terminate when the lease is quarter to quarter, 15 days’ notice for any month-to-month lease, and 7 days’ notice for any weekly lease agreements
  • Rent cannot be raised more than 5% without at least 60 days’ notice to the tenant


As you can see, many of these terms are universal across these ordinances. It’s safe to expect that these will be enacted in more municipalities across Florida, even in cases where many of these terms were already required by law.

Keeping track of these new and changing standards for landlords will be a challenge. At Atlas Law, we proudly stand up and advocate for Florida landlords. If you need help navigating these changes or end up facing legal action because of them, contact our team and we will defend your rights.

Creditors May Now Face Vicarious Liability for the Actions of a Debt Collector

An emerging body of case law is expanding the way the courts treat illegal or unethical actions by a debt collector on behalf of a creditor. Landlords who enlist the services of debt collectors or debt collection services need to be aware of these changes in order to avoid potential litigation down the line.

In the past, creditors like landlords would never be held liable in lawsuits against the debt collector as they were not, themselves, considered to be debt collectors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Instead, the debt collector would be held solely responsible for any actions that violate the FDCPA.

Two recent cases have altered these definitions and are exposing creditors to future liability by considering creditors to be vicariously liable for the actions of a third-party debt collector’s actions simply because of the existence of an agreement between the two parties. These agreements can include a servicing agreement, a collection agreement, or even an engagement agreement that enlists the debt collector to carry out the debt collection on behalf of the creditor.

In the case of McAdory v. M.N.S. & Associates, LLC, No. 18-35923 (9th Cir. 2020), the Plaintiff claimed the debt collector violated multiple aspects of the FDCPA in collecting a debt. To summarize the details of the case, a debt collector (DNF) purchased an original debt from Kay Jewelers. DNF then outsourced the debt by selling it to a separate collector, M.N.S.

The court found the M.N.S. subsequently violated the FDCPA, but, in doing so, the panel upheld the allegation that DNF was responsible for the actions of M.N.S. as DNF did not need to directly interact with the debtor in order to qualify as a debt collector under U.S. Code § 1692a. This is because the collection of the debt is the “principal purpose” of the business.

While DNF claimed they did not have traditional legal “control” over M.N.F. in this case, the court ruled that the existence of an agreement between the two parties implied the presence of control.

This is a significant shift in the application of the FDCPA and multiple subsequent cases have followed this precedent in order to litigate cases against creditors who outsource debt collection. If you are a landlord who uses third-party debt collection services or sells debt to debt collection agencies, you must be aware of their practices in order to protect yourself. Work with debt collectors you trust and don’t simply rely on them to follow FDCPA.  Additionally, you should analyze your agreement with the debt collector to ensure that the debt collector will indemnify and defend you for liability associated with the debt collector’s actions.  You may also want to consider whether a modification of your insurance policy is necessary to protect you from these types of lawsuits.  

Being direct and transparent about your desire to follow the law properly could prevent you from being held vicariously liable for the improper actions of the third-party debt collector. If you find yourself in the middle of litigation regarding debt collection practices, the team at Atlas Law is here to help. Contact your Florida landlord’s advocate today.

Landlords, Don’t Delay Repairs After a Hurricane

In less than four months, the Sunshine State will once again be in the throes of hurricane season. Landlords need to be on high alert for any property damages resulting from these destructive storms. High winds can cause devastation, but the biggest threat to commercial and residential properties is flooding.

Water in buildings commonly causes wood rot, drywall deterioration, and mold infestations. Mold infestations can cause health problems for even otherwise-healthy people. In these situations, tenants often assert their rights to encourage landlords to make repairs they believe are necessary.

What Does Florida Law Say About Making Repairs?

Broadly speaking, state law requires landlords to maintain properties for tenants and ensure they remain habitable. If a tenant believes a property has become “wholly untenantable,” they can put the landlord on a ticking clock to make the necessary repairs. The tenant may send a notice to their landlord alleging certain repairs need to be made in order to render the property usable again. 

If the landlord does not respond to the notice within seven days, tenants may be able to withhold rent or even terminate the lease by moving out. In the latter situation, tenants will not be liable for any future rent.

According to Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes, landlords have 20 days to actually repair the issue making the property untenantable. Tenants may exercise the same rights described in the above paragraph to help effectuate the repairs in the mandated time frame.

An important note here is that these provisions only apply to damages that actually fall under a landlord’s purview. The two parties sometimes come to a different agreement in leases. And, landlords are usually not responsible for repairing damages that were ultimately caused by tenants. However, repairs for hurricane-caused damages are almost always the responsibility of Florida landlords.

Our Recommendations for Florida Landlords

After a hurricane has passed through areas where you own properties, we strongly encourage you to visit each one of them as soon as you are able. Seven days is an extremely short amount of time to respond to your tenants, and it sometimes takes nearly that long for the tenant’s notice to get to you in the first place.

In an ideal situation, you will be in constant communication with your tenants so they can give you a phone call as soon as they see property damage. Having a good relationship with your tenants may allow you some more flexibility and allow you to operate outside the rigid timelines offered by state law.

Don’t be afraid to hire a contractor for mold remediation, either. Mold can start growing as soon as 24 hours after water damage takes hold indoors. Too many landlords simply treat water leaks and neglect to address mold issues, which can cause huge problems later on.

Above all, it’s important to be proactive after a hurricane or major storm strikes your area. Even if you are not sure that your properties have sustained damage, it’s well worth it to see the conditions with your own eyes.

Atlas Law stands with Florida landlords in a wide variety of situations that require legal counsel. We work with both residential and commercial landlords to ensure their rights and revenue streams are protected. Contact our team today for personalized and effective representation.

Florida Landlords: The Time to Protect Your Business is Now

Right now is a challenging time for landlords. While business might seem to be good on your end, it’s important to be aware of potential challenges to what you’ve put your hard work into. In recent months, we’ve talked about the cancel rent movement and the potential of “testers” targeting landlords over affordable housing programs like Section 8. The latter is becoming more and more prevalent and has now crossed from testers to actual renters suing over these issues in Broward County.

Last year, a case moved through the Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit for Broward County revolving around a fair housing organization testing whether landlords are discriminating over sources of income. Case CACE21009252 eventually ended in an agreement between the Plaintiff and Defendant, but the courts allowed this case to proceed to expose landlords to new challenges. In another case, a tenant claimed their application was denied purely because of Section 8 despite other factors present that would lead to the denial of most or all other applicants.

Ultimately, the risk doesn’t just revolve around court cases in Broward County or even Florida. The major risk to your business is what happens if the local courts rule that you did indeed violate § Sec. 16½-35.7 of the Broward County ordinances. If this happens, the tenant can take that decision and move forward with a federal discrimination case. This immediately exposes you to significant liability in federal courts because you start with the assumption of guilt based on the previous decision.

The reality is if counties get litigious this will mean far more landlords will be receiving notices of discrimination claims and cases. More and more people with bad intentions will take advantage of what’s supposed to be a voluntary program to file lawsuits. Waiting to see how this plays out could eventually cost you significantly – and even shut down your business.

What you need to do sooner rather than later is speak with an attorney. This problem is no longer hypothetical, and an attorney with experience both at the county level and federal level can help protect what you’ve worked so hard to build. The team here at Atlas Law will always advocate for Florida landlords and defend the right to operate a business. Contact our experienced team of attorneys immediately if you receive a notice that you’re being accused of discrimination over Section 8 or another income source.

Struggling to Sell? Consider Becoming a Landlord

As we near 2023, we’re learning that the booming housing market of early 2022 and all of 2021 is behind us. With interest rates rising, more families are deciding to sit out on the housing market and instead deferring to renting or other alternatives. So, if you’re trying to sell your home and not having any luck – should you consider renting? Here’s why that may not be the worst idea.

You Don’t Have to “Concede”

The first move for many sellers in a buyer’s market is to make serious concessions on the home they’re selling. This can include lowering the price, offering to do additional work to the home, including additional amenities, and more. This is less than ideal because you may end up feeling like you’re not getting out what you put into the home.

As a landlord, you don’t have to make these concessions. Instead, you will be able to look at the market and set a rental price that matches the value of your property on a monthly basis. This allows you to recoup all of the monthly mortgage payments and then some. That money can then be put into your own home or other needs. You can always put the home back on the market at a future date and get the value you actually want out of your property.

Steady Second-Source of Income

Everybody is about the “side hustle” these days. It’s popular to have a second income stream, and rental income is maybe the best example of this. You will want to be an attentive and accessible landlord (unless you hire a property management company to handle your property), but otherwise, you won’t have to put nearly as much effort into your side hustle as those who are working two-to-six hours a night in the rideshare industry trying to make ends meet.

There are numerous families who are actually able to pay for their own homes through the income they receive from rental properties, and while this may be your first rental property, you may learn a lot in the process and decide to become an investor with multiple rental properties in the future.

A Diminished Housing Market Means More Potential Tenants

You already tried to sell your home and have decided now is not the time to sell a home because there simply aren’t enough buyers for your liking. So, what are those people doing? They’re renting! This means you will have a wider customer base to choose from than you would in a booming housing market.

At Atlas Law, we are landlord advocates. We believe you deserve fair and respectful representation. Contact our firm if you’ve decided to become a Florida landlord.

What Happens If An Evicted Tenant Refuses To Leave?

Evictions are never an easy process. Ultimately, you are dealing with someone who has done something to warrant an extreme action that removes them from your property through legal action. These decisions can weigh heavily on a landlord/property owner and are often met with a strong reaction.

One such reaction is when a tenant simply refuses to vacate the property. Upfront, you’re dealing with a tenant who warranted eviction in the first place so there’s already been some issue that brought you to this moment. It’s important to go about this process properly before taking the next steps that involve law enforcement.

Find a Mutual Agreement With the Tenant

Evictions are a last resort. These actions require a provable reason and cannot violate the Fair Housing Act (we covered exceptions recently. When you take these steps, you’ll need to get a summons from the county the tenant is in and then the tenant will be given time to respond.

If the tenant decided to contest the eviction then they won’t have to vacate until a judgment is handed down one way or the other. During this time, or even after, you may consider finding mutually agreeable terms with the tenant. Consider possibilities such as:

  • Allowing them to stay and pay rent for a determined period of time
  • Settling any unpaid rent at a lower amount
  • Filing a “Seven Day Notice to Cure” which gives the tenant seven days to remedy any issues at the property

If you’ve already reached the decision to evict then it’s unlikely any of these options will suffice, but these are steps to consider before the eviction process begins or to negotiate while the eviction is being contested.

Getting the Authorities Involved

Short of a mutual agreement that settles the situation, you may need to get law enforcement involved. You do not have the right to forcibly remove a tenant nor are you permitted to turn off utilities or remove locks from the doors. Anything that puts the tenant at immediate risk can be considered a liability that you’re responsible for.

Once you’ve received an eviction judgment from the courts, it will be up to law enforcement to see the tenant out. The process will be relatively straightforward: the tenant will be given a date that they must be out of the property by. If the tenant is not out by that date then law enforcement officers will come to the property and remove the tenant.

Nobody wants it to get to this point. It’s often an ugly situation and tensions with law enforcement can create worse problems than you started with. If you have a problem tenant or need help navigating the eviction process, contact Atlas Law.

Exploring Exceptions to the Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act is an important piece of legislation that protects individuals and their families, allowing them to secure housing regardless of their race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, religion, disability, and beyond. We don’t want to give the impression that these protections aren’t fair or necessary, because they are.

With that said, there are circumstances where landlords face discrimination lawsuits – even when the claim has no standing. It’s important to understand when there are outright exceptions to the Fair Housing Act so Florida landlords can run their businesses with peace of mind.

Owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units

If you live in your building and are renting out the other units, you may not have to follow the Federal Housing Act. This exemption applies to buildings where there are two to four units and the owner of the building lives in one of them.

In this case, you are permitted to make your own decisions about who can live in those other units without restriction. Obviously, it might not be great for business to discriminate against others in any circumstance, but you will be protected from litigation covered under the FHA.

Single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker

As long as the owner of the single-family home is a private citizen and doesn’t own more than three homes, they are exempt from the FHA when a broker is not used. This applies if you directly enter into an agreement with a tenant or buyer of your own volition without the help of a broker.

Religious organizations

When religious organizations rent out properties that aren’t used for commercial purposes, they are generally exempt from the protections provided by the FHA. U.S. Code § 3607 allows these organizations to restrict tenancy exclusively to members of their religion which means members of the religion still cannot be discriminated against.

There’s an exception to this exception, though. If the religion itself is deemed to restrict membership based on race, color, or national origin then the religion cannot restrict tenancy to members.

Housing operated by certain organizations and private clubs

This one is similar to religious organizations. If a private club limits occupancy to members only then the private club may prevent anyone else from living on the property.

The same U.S. code as mentioned above says that no limits can be imposed on private clubs “from limiting the rental or occupancy of such lodgings to its members or from giving preference to its members.”

At Atlas Law, we stand by the FHA and the exemptions that were carefully considered and applied to the law. If you think you’re being targeted by a current or past tenant or applicant despite not having to abide by the Fair Housing Act, contact our team.