Widespread discriminatory ads being published despite Senate Bill 329

Hundreds of Bay Area landlords have defied a law that prohibits a wholesale ban on Section 8 applicants.

Bay Area landlords should have received the memo by now that it is illegal to deny a tenancy based on the applicant's source of income, but not all housing providers are in the know.

Words matter, and as parents of teenagers likely know, it's prudent to advise our children that what they text or post on the Internet does not dissipate. Once there is a digital footprint, it never goes away. This is also instructive to the rental property industry.

When it comes to discriminatory housing ads, people are watching.

This mission of this Curbed article was to set off to find ads that fly in the face of fair housing laws and it didn't take much effort on the part of an enterprising reporter trolling Craigslist to discover apartment listings with a blanket ban on Section 8.

Better for a journalist to find these type of ads than this attorney, who has a prosperous law practice suing landlords with a disfavor for housing vouchers.

Senate Bill 329 is now the law in California, making it illegal to discriminate against housing voucher recipients. We hasten to say that landlords are not obligated to accept Section 8 applicants. There may be other, legitimate reasons to turn down a rental application unrelated to the tenant's source of income.

"The selective use of words, phrases, symbols, visual aids and media in the advertising of real estate may indicate a wrongful discriminatory preference held by the advertiser. When published, the preference can lead to a claim of discriminatory housing practices by a member of the protected class."

That was the intro to this video that points out some common pitfalls made when crafting apartment listings.

We have said in many venues that California has an ever-expanding pool of protected classes. This now even includes people with certain hairstyles, courteousy of The Crown Act: Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair.

When it comes to advertising and fielding applications for your rental property, less communication is more.