Don't Discourage Adoptive Parents from Renting at Your Site
If a prospect mentions that she's planning to adopt a child, don't misinform her about the availability of appropriately sized units to discourage single parents with children from living at your site. If you do, you could be accused of discrimination against families with children, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
That's what happened recently to Philadelphia-area site owners who are being charged with discrimination by HUD. According to HUD's charge, when a single woman viewed a unit at the site and mentioned that she intended to adopt a child, one of the owners told her that she had never before rented to a family with children. After the woman moved into the unit, and later adopted her son, the owners notified her that they were terminating her lease. The family was forced to move to a new town, depriving the 11-year-old boy of his school, friends, and the aunts that he visited regularly. The charge further alleges that the owners had previously advertised the three-bedroom apartment as having two-bedrooms to avoid inquiries from families with children.
HUD is charging the owners with discrimination, in violation of the Fair Housing Act, claiming that they made discriminatory statements indicating that they did not rent to families with children and that they discouraged other families from applying for available rental units by understating the number of bedrooms.