Many landlords are concerned about having tenants who do not speak English. Two issues I hear them express concern about are the lack of understanding of the rental agreement and the inability to communicate regarding necessary maintenance.
More than 25 million people in our country do not speak English fluently. HUD has clarified that although the inability to speak English is not a protected class, that it is closely aligned with national origin that is a protected class.
Housing providers are therefore prohibited from using limited English proficiency selectively or as an excuse for intentional housing discrimination. The law also prohibits landlords from using limited English proficiency in a way that causes an unjustified discriminatory effect.
Discrimination lawsuits are a hot topic in the rental industry. Recurring fair housing training is a great way to help protect yourself from a fair housing complaint or a discrimination lawsuit.