Assure Yourself By Insuring Yourself
The benefits of tenant discrimination insurance
Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most visible activists of the civil rights movement. His assassination in the late 60s and events after the fact brought forth the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which is crucial to all property owners to have introduced the Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination of race, color, their beliefs, and gender when renting or buying a home.
But why bring this up now? If the reason for this act is to remind owners not to discriminate, it should be as easy as allowing any tenant to rent so long as they pass a background check that includes financial status and credit scores. Sadly, it is not that simple. According to the Fair Housing Alliance 2018 Report, 87.4% of housing discrimination acts reported in 2017 occurred during rental transactions. Tenants can understand possible discrimination of themselves due to sensitivity of treatment.
Even if a claim is false, owners would benefit from having a defense against these complaints. Says Tameka Livatino, AVP Midwest Region of NAS Insurance “We often find that owners do not tend to discriminate. What happens is they impose a rule or regulation on their property, which a tenant may perceive as discrimination”. If one breaches the Fair Housing Act, the fees can be costly. They include $11,000 in civil fines for a first offense, and $55,000 for each new offense.
Because of the high costs, even an accidental mistake can affect your business when it comes to discrimination. That is why there is tenant discrimination insurance. According to Stan Burns Insurance, tenant discrimination insurance can be added to an existing business policy, such as Errors and Omissions. Tameka Livatino again states “Quite frankly, the discrimination portion of the property managers’ E&O is where we see the most claims. If you manage a property and your evaluation process is discriminatory in any way, someone may file a claim. This leads to a costly defense process”. Check some of the companies linked below to get more information about tenant discrimination insurance.