So a follow-up on my post about my apartment complex idea. For those of you that missed it, I wondered out loud why there were no apartment complexes that targetted the housing of young professionals (e.g. college grads with jobs) that could help cushion the transition from college life to the real world - in a sense it'd be a "dormitory" for young professionals, but the actual rooms wouldn't be piss-small.

So I took a read over The Fair Housing Act and realized that had I posted that entry as a real business plan, I'd probably be getting sued right now.

The issue there is I would be probably be violating the "familial" status clause since we really don't want little kids running around.

What caught my eye though, was this Section 803(b):

(1) any single-family house sold or rented by an owner: Provided, That such private individual owner does not own more than three such single-family houses at any one time: Provided further, That in the case of the sale of any such single-family house by a private individual owner not residing in such house at the time of such sale or who was not the most recent resident of such house prior to such sale, the exemption granted by this subsection shall apply only with respect to one such sale within any twenty-four month period: Provided further, That such bona fide private individual owner does not own any interest in, nor is there owned or reserved on his behalf, under any express or voluntary agreement, title to or any right to all or a portion of the proceeds from the sale or rental of, more than three such single-family houses at any one time: Provided further, That after December 31, 1969, the sale or rental of any such single-family house shall be excepted from the application of this subchapter only if such house is sold or rented (A) without the use in any manner of the sales or rental facilities or the sales or rental services of any real estate broker, agent, or salesman, or of such facilities or services of any person in the business of selling or renting dwellings, or of any employee or agent of any such broker, agent, salesman, or person and (B) without the publication, posting or mailing, after notice, of any advertisement or written notice in violation of section 804(c) of this title; but nothing in this proviso shall prohibit the use of attorneys, escrow agents, abstractors, title companies, and other such professional assistance as necessary to perfect or transfer the title, or

(2)rooms or units in dwellings containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than four families living independently of each other, if the owner actually maintains and occupies one of such living quarters as his residence.

I might be mis-reading this (I really have no patience for legalese), but it seems that if I own four "single-family houses", I can rent three of them while discriminating, except I still cannot violate 804(c), which says:

(c) To make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.

So basically if I own four units and I live in one, I can rent the other three in a discriminatory manner, but I can't advertise that I'm doing that. WTF? The fact that I can rent to whomever I want would imply that the activity is legal, but the advertising of said legal activity is illegal?

The law makes no sense.

Currently listening to: Default - Faded
Posted by roy on February 9, 2006 at 02:02 PM in Ramblings | 8 Comments

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Comment posted on February 14th, 2006 at 03:53 PM
i wonder if retirement homes count as discriminatory?
Comment posted on February 10th, 2006 at 09:09 PM
Talk about timing... Craig's List is being sued over ads that discriminate:
<a href="">shortened link</a> []
Comment posted on February 10th, 2006 at 10:32 AM
makes all teh sense in the world.

You can't OPENLY discriminate, but you can refuse service to anyone you want. It's like a restraunt or a casino. They don't have to serve you if they don't want to.

Btw.. they have places like this in Cali. Check out this place called "avenue one" in irvine. it's a young professional condo complex. pretty cool except a 2 br is selling for about $580k!! for 1100 sq feet...

I HAVE been thinking about buying some apartments in the NC area closer to CH though. Turn mad profit offa those.
Comment posted on February 10th, 2006 at 12:36 PM
That price range really seems like it would limit the # of people. Ideally you would target people making the 50K range as entry levels, so pricing for a 2 BR should be roughly $1200 [in this area, at least]. That's a $100/$200 premium which I'm sure people pulling ~$2500/month after taxes would be willing to pull (or maybe higher, given the "perks") of the location.
Comment posted on February 13th, 2006 at 02:44 PM
no.. what it does is put more people in debt.. because everyone is fighting over those residences with good school systems.. the places with crappy locality are still on par with rest of US. just places like PV and parts of the OC are astronomical.

pricing for a crappy 2br here is roughly 1200.. and it's 1-200 premium PER PERSON for an average apartment. about 3-400 per person for a 'better' place. welcome to OCRealEstate 101 =)
Comment posted on February 10th, 2006 at 08:26 AM
you know, i think if you set up and designed the apartment complex in a manner in which you suggest, it wouldn't appeal to many others than the targeted bunch. no? or what about advertising? is there a law that says you have to distribute your advertisements randomly and some how equally? and i heard there was a place called the billionaire's club where you have to be a billionaire in order to purchase a home in the area.
Comment posted on February 10th, 2006 at 12:37 PM
i think it's different when you're selling home; it seems the fair housing act was largely targetted at apartments.

the point is if i can't advertise the complex as such, normal people would come, and the young professionals would never know!
Comment posted on February 10th, 2006 at 10:55 PM
You could advertise the features that would appeal to young professionals, right? You can't advertise it as professionals-only, but you should be able to advertise by methods that would slant to the professionals -- ads on college campuses and newspapers, that sort of thing. Or am I missing something?