INSIDER's Pop Quiz!
Q: A site cannot be liable for housing discrimination based on sexual orientation unless the applicant or resident is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. True or false?
A: False. HUD’s Equal Access Rule protects both actual and “perceived” gender-related characteristics. Therefore, you could be liable if you discourage a prospect from living at your site based on an assumption that he is gay, even if he’s really straight. In addition, many state or local fair housing laws generally ban discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, so a site could be liable for discriminating against an applicant based on a mistaken belief about his or her sexual orientation.
For more information on complying with HUD’s Equal Access Rule, see “Comply with HUD’s Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Equal Access Rule,” available to subscribers here.