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Fair Housing Act prohibits discriminatory leasing practices

Finding just the right location for your business in Florida can take a great deal of time and effort. You must work out the specific needs of your company as well as how much you can afford to spend on rent. Once you find a spot you think will work, it is time to meet with the landlord or property manager to discuss possible leasing arrangements. If you are able to meet the terms of a lease agreement on the commercial property, you should be afforded the opportunity to rent the space and set up shop.

Hopefully, when you are negotiating with a landlord, you are treated fairly and are able to get fair terms. Unfortunately, sometimes a landlord may choose to engage in discriminatory practices in an effort to keep certain people from renting a property. But such practices are not only unfair, they are often illegal.

Thanks to the federal Fair Housing Act and the Florida Fair Housing Act, landlords are prohibited from discriminating against potential tenants on the basis of such things as race, national origin, religion or color. As such, landlords cannot refuse to sell or rent a property to another party for discriminatory reasons. They also cannot be dishonest about a property’s availability or offer varying terms to different parties.

The law guarantees that we should all be granted equal opportunities when attempting to lease commercial real estate property. If you believe that you have not been treated fairly when initiating or conducting rental contract negotiations, you may wish to discuss the matter with a Florida commercial real estate attorney. The attorney may be able to investigate the situation and offer guidance on how to respond to the situation.