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Fair Housing Rights

In any rental situation, both landlords and tenants have rights and they also have certain duties. For landlords, these requirements include providing a safe, habitable place to live. They have a right to protect their property and to remove tenants who violate the terms of a rental contract. Tenants have the right to make requests for repairs and a duty to pay rent. Given the nature of a rental situation, disputes often arise over whose rights have been violated. In these circumstances, the assistance and advice of an experienced real estate attorney can be invaluable.

Important Information about Landlord-Tenant Law

Provided by The Payne Law Office, Chartered, in Chicago

If you are involved in a landlord-tenant dispute, you may be uncertain about the law and the process, as well as your rights. This page provides answers to basic concerns about landlord-tenant law, so that you can determine whether you want or need to hire counsel.

At The Payne Law Office, Chartered, we protect the rights of landlords, helping you take the necessary legal action needed to protect your business interests. When you hire us, we give our undivided attention to your legal matter, responding promptly to your calls or e-mails, and keeping you fully informed of all developments in your case.

To learn more, see our page on our landlord-tenant practice.  contact our office online or call us at 773-467-8991 or toll-free at 888-827-3077.

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Landlord-tenant attorney in Chicago, Illinois. At The Payne Law Office, Chartered, we focus our practice on the rights of residential landlords, helping with eviction proceedings and other actions to protect your real property interests. We also review and draft residential leases. Contact our office online or call us at 773-467-8991 or toll-free at 877-827-3077 .

When you need an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer to protect your interests in a residential lease, contact attorney Matt Payne, in Chicago, Illinois. We focus our representation on the rights of landlords, guiding you through the eviction process and taking all necessary steps to protect your real property interests.

Fair Housing Rights

An important 1968 federal law called the Fair Housing Act (FHA) serves to protect individuals from unfair housing practices based upon their race, color, national origin, sex, family status or disability. If you feel as though your rights under the FHA have been violated, you need an attorney to help protect your interests and restore those rights. An attorney with experience in real estate law, like the skilled and caring professionals at The Payne Law Office, Chartered in Chicago, Illinois, can advise individuals about their rights under the FHA.

The Protections of the Act

The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal for most, but not all, property owners or landlords to discriminate in rental housing. In a nutshell, the Act makes it illegal to discriminate against a person or group on the basis of their race, color, national origin, or sex if that person or group makes a legitimate offer to rent a property. For example, a landlord cannot ask for a higher application fee from a potential renter based upon the renter's race. Another protection enforced by the Act concerns family status. A landlord cannot change the amount of a security deposit required, or change the terms of a lease on a case-by-case basis, because of the status of a renter's family.

The FHA has other important protections, including a provision making it illegal for landlords or real estate agents to lie to minorities about the availability of apartments for rent or houses for sale. The FHA prohibits a real estate agent from trying to funnel potential buyers or renters into particular neighborhoods based upon the race or a potential buyer or renter or the predominant race of that neighborhood.

In addition to protections on the basis of sex, race, national origin, and family status, a landlord must also make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. This does not mean that a landlord needs to rebuild an entire apartment to accommodate a person with a disability. It means, instead, that a reasonable accommodation must be made such as installing non-slip treads in a bathtub or extending a light bulb chain to a lower length. Most properties built since 1991 that have more than four rental units need to meet very specific requirements under the FHA. The requirements of the FHA, in any matter involving a person with a handicap (disability), revolve tightly around the facts of the particular situation.

Currently, no federal law protects individuals from discrimination in rental housing on the basis of their sexual orientation. A handful of states and communities, however, do in fact have laws in place that protect gays, lesbians, and transgender individuals in their right to rental housing. If you feel a landlord or property owner has discriminated you against on this basis you may have legal rights and remedies, depending upon where you live and the circumstances of your particular case.

Remedies Under the Fair Housing Act

The remedies under the FHA vary depending upon who actually brings an action under the Act. If a private individual (as opposed to a governmental entity) brings a claim, the individual must first file a complaint within one year of the date of the alleged discrimination. If their case is proven, they may be entitled to actual damages as well as punitive damages. In addition, the court may issue an injunction or temporary restraining order that effectively prohibits the landlord or property owner from any further action or discrimination. In addition, if a person has threatened, intimidated, or physically harmed you in relation to your attempt to rent property, they may be criminally liable and can be assessed a penalty and/or be required to serve time in jail for their actions.

Speak to a Landlord-Tenant Lawyer

The Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 offers a protective umbrella of rights to potential renters of property. If you feel you have been discriminated against under the Act, an attorney should be your first call for help. If you have questions about the FHA and your rights underneath it, contact an experienced real estate law attorney at The Payne Law Office, Chartered in Chicago, Illinois, to restore and protect your rights.

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DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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The Payne Law Office, Chartered
6444 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60631
Phone: 773-467-8991
Toll Free: 888-827-3077
Fax: 888-827-3077
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