Fair Housing Advertising Guidelines

The Fair Housing Act prohibits certain categories of discrimination in housing. This federal law prohibits publishing advertisements indicating “any preference, limitation or discrimination based on” the protected categories “with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling.”

This list of words/phrases is split into three categories: Avoid, Use Caution, Acceptable. Each of these three categories is divided by topic:

  • Ability, health, and lifestyle
  • Age, gender, and familial status
  • Location and economic status
  • Race and origin
  • Religion

For ease and speed, try searching for the word you're curious about using the ctrl+F command.

Avoid

  • Ability, health, and lifestyle

    • able-bodied
    • agile
    • AIDS/HIV
    • alcoholics
    • blind
    • crippled
    • deaf
    • no group homes
    • not suitable for handicapped
    • healthy only
    • impaired, no
    • mentally disabled, no
    • mentally ill, no
    • non-drinkers
    • non-smokers
    • physically fit only
    • smokers, no
    • Social Security Insurance (SSI), no
  • Age and familial status

    • adult community *
    • adults only *
    • adult park *
    • children, no
    • number of children
    • empty nesters *
    • married
    • mature couple/individual/person(s) *
    • older person(s) *
    • one child
    • quiet tenants
    • senior discount *
    • tenants, description of
    • two people
  • Location and economic status

    • board approval required
    • employed, must be
    • membership approval required
    • migrant workers, no
    • park rules, must comply with
    • preferred community
    • seasonal workers, no
    • unemployed, no
  • Race and origin

    • African
    • American Indian
    • Appalachian
    • Asian
    • black(s)
    • Caucasian
    • Chicano
    • Chinese
    • colored
    • English only
    • Hindu
    • Hispanic
    • Hungarian
    • Indian
    • Irish
    • Italian
    • integrated
    • Jewish
    • Latino
    • Mexican-American
    • negro
    • oriental
    • Polish
    • Puerto Rican
    • Spanish speaking
    • White, white only
  • Religion

    • Christian
    • church
    • mosque
    • Muslim
    • parish
    • Protestant
    • synagogue
    • temple

Use caution

  • Ability, health and lifestyle

    • active
    • curfew
    • handicap
  • Age, gender and familial status

    • 55 and older *
    • 62 and older *
    • bachelor
    • couple
    • couples only
    • female(s) only
    • female roommate
    • gay(s), no
    • gentleman’s farm
    • grandma’s house
    • golden agers only
    • handyman’s dream
    • ideal for …
    • lesbian(s), no
    • male(s) only
    • male roommate
    • man, men only
    • mother-in-law apartment
    • nanny’s room
    • newlyweds
    • one person
    • older person *
    • perfect for …
    • person(s), number of
    • play area, no
    • retired
    • retiree(s) *
    • retirement home
    • seeking same
    • senior(s) *
    • senior citizen(s) *
    • senior housing *
  • Location and economic status

    • close to
    • country club, near
    • exclusive
    • executive
    • membership approval required
    • near
    • prestigious
    • quality neighborhood
    • restricted
    • safe neighborhood
    • Section 8, no
    • secure
  • Religion

    • Mormon temple
    • shrine

Acceptable

  • Ability, health and lifestyle

    • accessible
    • alcohol, no
    • assistance animals only
    • convalescent home
    • drugs, no
    • drug use, no
    • handicap accessible
    • smoking, no
    • wheelchair accessible
  • Age and familial status

    • bedrooms, number of
    • den
    • family, great for
    • family room
    • kids welcome
    • master bedroom
    • nursery
    • nursing home
    • play area
    • (school district)
    • (school name)
    • senior discount
    • single-family home
    • sleeping area(s), number of
  • Location and economic status

    • bus, near
    • convenient to
    • credit check required
    • desirable neighborhood
    • domestic quarters
    • Equal Housing Opportunity
    • fixer-upper
    • golf course, near
    • great view
    • guest house
    • hobby farm
    • luxury townhome
    • membership available
    • nice
    • privacy
    • private driveway
    • private entrance
    • private property
    • private setting
    • public transportation, near
    • quality construction
    • quiet
    • references required
    • responsible
    • seasonal rates
    • secluded
    • security provided
    • (square feet)
    • townhouse
    • traditional style
    • tranquil setting
    • verifiable income
    • view, of/with
    • winter rental rates
  • Religion

    • places of worship, near

* Senior housing may be exempt if:

  1. HUD has determined the housing is specifically designed for and occupied by elderly persons under a federal, state or local government program, or;
  2. It is occupied solely by persons who are 62 or older, or;
  3. It houses at least one person who is 55 or older in at least 80% of the occupied units, and adheres to a policy that demonstrates an intent to house persons who are 55 or older.

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