Landlords Beware: Discrimination can cost you Millions!

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It cost billionaire Donald T. Sterling millions.

On November 3rd of this year the Justice department received the biggest settlement on a housing discrimination lawsuit.

Donald T. Sterling has agreed to pay $2.725 million to settle allegations that he discriminated against African-Americans, Hispanics and families with children at apartment buildings he controls in Los Angeles.

The Justice Department had proof of their discrimination and proof of internal reports that the company was keeping the racial makeup of particular apartment buildings.

The thing that strikes me as ironic is that Donald T Sterling is very admired in the African American community here in Southern California. In fact Donald T. Sterling was honored by the NAACP – National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – back in May of this year.

Did the NAACP know that allegations were brought by the Justice Department in 2006? I’m sure they would have reconsidered their honoring of him.

In today’s day and age the last thing you want to do is discriminate in the selection of your new tenants. It’s very simple. Just don’t discriminate, period. In case you have forgotten here is the list of  ways you cannot discriminate against prospective tenants or clients, according to Fair Housing Laws:

  1. race
  2. color
  3. national origin
  4. religion
  5. sex
  6. family status
  7. disability

At my company here in Victorville, CA we go a step further and do not discriminate based on sexual orientation. Discrimination is not right and it’s not a sound business practice. The only thing you should discriminate in is their credit report and their financial ability to repay the mortgage or rent along with their debt. That’s it.

You will find that by adhering to these sound business practices your business will flourish and you will help build a better America.

Be good in all you do America!

About Author

Winston Westbrook is broker & owner of Westbrook National Real Estate Company servicing the cities of Victorville, Spring Valley Lake, Adelanto, Hesperia, Apple Valley & the surrounding Victor Valley High Desert communities of So. California. Specializing in short sale and distressed properties.

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