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Fair Housing Exemptions

Many landlords incorrectly believe they are exempt from the Fair Housing laws.  It comes up most often when a tenant wants to have an emotional support animal and the landlord says, “No pets allowed, and I’m exempt from the Fair Housing laws.”

I’ve been told that landlords of single family residences are exempt. That is not true.  Believing this urban legend can get you in trouble.

Exemption #1 is for landlords of dwellings with four or fewer units, and the landlord lives in one of them. It has to be their only rental property. It must be owned in the landlord’s personal name, and not a corporation or LLC.

Exemption #2 is for landlords who own three or fewer single family residences as their only rental properties, and all titled in their own personal name.

You can lose your exemption if you use a licensed real estate person to assist with the properties OR if you use someone “in the business of real estate.”  Someone is in the business of real estate if they have more than two transactions in a year.