The question of whether or not an association may deny a proposed renter who seeks to live in a community may depend upon where the condominium of HOA is located. To simplify, Section 8 Housing is a government program that helps pay the rent for a family that can’t afford it. The government pays the rent directly to the landlord.
Notwithstanding the fact that the rent is guaranteed, many association want and have always wanted to exclude residents who receive this type of financial assistance. Right or wrong, some associations believe that allowing very low income families to move into the community is an invitation for crime, drugs and lowering the standards of the community. So the question is….can the association exclude Section 8 Housing?
Here is what the Miami-Dade Code of Ordinances says:
Declaration of policy and scope.
(1)Policy. It is hereby declared to be the policy of Miami-Dade County, in the exercise of its police power for the public safety, health and general welfare, to eliminate and prevent discrimination in employment, family leave, public accommodations, credit and financing practices, and housing accommodations because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, marital status, familial status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, or actual or perceived status as a victim of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking. It is further hereby declared to be the policy of Miami-Dade County to eliminate and prevent discrimination in housing based on source of income.
Here is what the Broward Code of Ordinance says:
DIVISION 3. – DISCRIMINATION IN REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS
Sec. 16½-35. – Discriminatory practices in real estate transactions.
It is unlawful for any person, including but not limited to any owner, lessee, lessor, sublessee, sublessor, assignee, assignor, manager, real estate broker, salesperson, condominium association, homeowners’ association, cooperative association, or any representative of any of the foregoing:
(e) To induce or attempt to induce, for profit, any person to sell or rent any dwelling by a representation regarding the entry or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, age, familial status, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy status, veteran or service member status, lawful source of income, or because a person or persons are or have been the victims of dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, or human trafficking.
Notice that at least in Miami-Dade and Broward County, it would be a violation of the law to reject an applicant because of their source of income, where that source of income is legal, and specifically from the Section 8 Housing Program. So, before making a decision on a Section 8 applicant, check your local County Code of Ordinances.