Frequently Asked Questions...


Fair Housing


Tips for Homeowners



Fair Housing

What is the Fair Housing Act?
  The Fair Housing Act is a law approved in 1968 that prohibits housing discrimination based on an individual's membership in a particular protected class.

What are the protected classes?

National Origin
Sex (Gender discrimination and sexual harassment)
Familial Status (the presence of children under the age of 18)

I was born in America, but my parents were born in Mexico. Am I protected under the Fair Housing Laws?
  Yes, you are protected. Under the national origin clause of the Fair Housing Laws, you are protected if you were born in another country or if your parents, grandparents or ancestors were born in another country.

I am 3 months pregnant with my first child and am I trying to rent an apartment for myself and the new baby. When the landlord found out I was pregnant, he told me that it wasn't a safe neighborhood so he didn't feel comfortable renting to me and my child. Has he violated the Fair Housing Laws?
  Yes, this is a violation. Under the familial status clause of the Fair Housing Laws, you are protected if you already have a child under the age of 18, if you are pregnant, or if you are in the process of adopting a child. Also, you do not have to be the child's biological parent or legal guardian; the laws protect any child living with you.

I am interested in renting an apartment for myself and my 2 children. The brochure stated that the security deposit was $100 but the landlord told me I have to pay a $300 deposit because I have children. Is this allowed under the fair housing laws?
  No it is not allowed. A landlord cannot charge an increased deposit for children.

All the families with children in my apartment complex live on the first floor because the landlord doesn't want the children to fall out of the windows. I want to live on the third floor; does the landlord have to allow me to move?
  Yes, the landlord has to let you move to the other unit (provided you follow the procedure provided in your lease). The fair housing laws prohibit housing providers from assigning tenants to the same area based on a protected class.

I was in an accident and permanently injured my leg. Now I have limited mobility and need a parking space closer to my unit but someone always parks in the spot I need. How can I make sure that I always get that spot?
  You need to ask your landlord/property manager to put up signage to show that the spot is reserved for you.

My mother has to use a wheelchair because of her limited mobility. She is not able to use the front door of her apartment because there are two steps. Does the landlord have to allow her to have a ramp constructed?
  Yes, the landlord must let the tenant have any accommodations that allows them full access to the housing unit.

I am visually impaired and I have a seeing-eye dog. My landlord says I have to pay a $100 pet fee; is this legal?
  No, it is not legal. You are not required to pay a pet fee for a service animal but you are responsible for any damages the animal causes.

I am visually impaired and I have a seeing-eye dog. My landlord says I have to pay a $100 pet fee; is this legal?
  No, it is not legal. You are not required to pay a pet fee for a service animal but you are responsible for any damages the animal causes.

Today I saw an advertisement for an apartment and the ad said the complex was perfect for "a social bachelor." Does this ad comply with the fair housing laws?
  No, the ad violates the fair housing act. This ad indicates a preference for a male without children therefore discriminating against females and anyone with children.

I own an apartment complex and I have been made aware that the property manager has been sexually harassing the female tenants. Am I responsible for the property manager's actions?
  Yes, as owner you are responsible for ensuring that your staff and their procedures comply with the fair housing laws.


My neighbors are constantly playing loud music and disturbing me. What can I do?
  You should first contact the landlord and report the problem. You may also contact the police if the neighbors conduct would constitute disturbing the peace.

Is my landlord allowed to enter the apartment without notifying me first?
  You have the right to the exclusive use of the leased premises. Unless the lease states otherwise, the landlord can only enter the property if such entry is necessary to cure a dangerous condition, prevent destruction, or respond to a bonafide emergency on the premises. There is no legal requirement that a landlord notify you prior to making entry under the above circumstances.

Is there a 72 hour period after signing my lease during which the landlord or tenant can change their mind and get out of the lease?
  No, there is not a "cooling off" period in Georgia Landlord Tenant law which would enable you to change your mind after signing a lease.

My tenant has not paid the rent in several months. Can the utilities be turned off?
  NO. Under Georgia law a landlord that wants to force a tenant to move must go through court and follow the dispossessory process. A landlord who suspends a tenant's utility service prior to the final judgment in a dispossessory action has broken the law and may be subject to a fine up to $500.00.

My refrigerator stopped working. Am I responsible for repairing it?
  If the refrigerator was in working order when you moved in, the landlord is responsible for keeping it in working order. This rule applies to all appliances and heating and cooling units present in the unit when the tenant moved in.

Tips for Homeowners In Danger of Foreclosure

1. Always open your mail from your mortgage company.

2. Always stay in contact with your mortgage company.

3. Do not promise the mortgage company to do something you cannot do.

4. If your mortgage company makes a deal with you, make sure you keep your part of the agreement.

5. NEVER EVER pay anyone to negotiate on your behalf with your mortgage company. Housing counselors certified by HUD to do foreclosure prevention and assist with loan modifications do not charge for their services.

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