As the owner of a large mobile home community, you need to know about the Fair Housing Act and remain in compliance with it. If you violate this act, you could face litigation and issues within the community you’ve worked so hard to build.
The Fair Housing Act is an act that prohibits discrimination by those who provide housing. This includes your rental or real estate company. You may not discriminate against those who would like to live in your community based on:
- National origin
- Familial status
- Color or race
That doesn’t mean that you can’t reject certain potential tenants or buyers from your community, but you won’t be able to reject them based on the above factors. Instead, you may want to look at other factors such as:
- Age, for communities reserved for people over a certain age, such as a 55+ community
- Credit scores, so you can choose tenants based on those with good credit and a history of appropriate payments
- Family size, if a home is only designed to hold a certain amount of people safely (for example, if a home is limited to two people per bedroom per the community guidelines but the applicant has six people looking at a two-bedroom household, they may not qualify). Keep in mind that you may not discriminate against children and have to be reasonable with any restrictions you create on the total number of people who can live in the home or could still violate the Fair Housing Act.
It’s important for you to discuss any limitations or rulesets that you want to put into place with your attorney to make sure that they are within the bounds of the law. The law is constantly in flux, so you need to be positive that the way you run your community keeps you in compliance with the Fair Housing Act and on the right side of the law.