RULE 186-2-.02 - Discriminatory Conduct Under the Georgia Fair Housing Law, as Amended

RULE 186-2-.02. Discriminatory Conduct Under the Georgia Fair Housing Law, as Amended

(1) GENERAL.

(a) Authority. This regulation is issued under the authority of the Administrator of the Commission on Equal Opportunity to administer and enforce the Georgia Fair Housing Law, as amended.

(b) Scope. It is the policy of the State of Georgia to provide, within constitutional limitations, for fair housing throughout the State. No person shall be subjected to discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin in the sale, rental, or advertising of dwellings, in the provision of brokerage services, or in the availability of residential real estate-related transactions.

1. This part provides the Commission's interpretation of the coverage of the Georgia Fair Housing Law, as amended, regarding discrimination related to the sale or rental of dwellings, the provision of services in connection therewith, and the availability of residential real estate-related transactions.

(c) Exemptions these rules do not:

1. Prohibit a religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, from limiting the sale, rental, or occupancy of dwellings, which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose to persons of the same religion, or from giving preference to such persons, unless membership in such religion is restricted because of race, color, or national origin;

(i) Prohibit a private club that is, or whose membership is, not in fact open to the public, which, incident to its primary purpose or purposes, provides lodgings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose, from limiting the rental or occupancy of such lodgings to its members or from giving preference to its members;

(ii) Limit the applicability of any reasonable local, state or federal restrictions regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling; or

(iii) Prohibit conduct against a person because such person has been convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction of the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance, as defined in O.C.G.A. Section 16-13-21.

2. Nothing in this part regarding discrimination based on familial status applies with respect to housing for older persons, as defined in Rule 186-2-.02(5)et seq.

3. Nothing in this part, other than the prohibitions against discriminatory advertising applies to:

(i) The sale or rental of any single family dwelling by an owner, provided the following conditions are met:

(I) the owner does not own or have any interest in more than three single family dwellings at any one time.

(II) the dwelling is sold or rented without the use of a real estate broker, agent, salesperson, or employee or the facilities of any person in the business of selling or renting dwellings. If the owner selling the dwelling does not reside in it at the time of the sale or was not the most recent resident of the house prior to such sale, the exemption in this paragraph and in subsection (1) hereof applies only to one such sale in any 24-month period.

4. 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 or her residence.

(d) Definitions.

1. The "Act" or the "Georgia Fair Housing Law" means Article 4 of Chapter 3 of Title 8, cited herein as O.C.G.A. Section 8-3-200et seq.

2. The "Administrator" means the Administrator of the Commission on Equal Opportunity.

3. The "Board" means the entire Board of Commissioners or a three-member panel designated from the Board of Commissioners. The Board has all the power and authority granted to agencies in conducting hearings and rendering final orders under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," including, but not limited to, subpoena power. If presiding as a three-member panel, the Board shall include at least one attorney who is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia.

4. "Broker" or "agent" includes any person authorized to perform an act on behalf of another person regarding any matter related to providing access to any residential real estate-related transaction including offers, solicitations or contracts and the administration of matters pertaining to such offers, solicitations or contracts or any residential real estate-related transactions.

5. The "Commission" means the Commission on Equal Opportunity.

6. The "Complaint" is the document (and all subsequent amendments thereto) which contains a statement of the facts which form the basis for the Complainant's allegations that the Respondent(s) may have violated the Act. Each complaint must be in writing and must be signed and affirmed by the complainant or the aggrieved person filing the complaint or, if the complaint is filed by the Commission, by the Administrator.

7. "Familial status" means one or more individuals (who have not attained the age of 18 years) being domiciled with:

(i) a parent or another person having legal custody of such individual or individuals; or

(ii) the designee of such parent or other person having such custody, with the written permission of such parent or other person.

The protection afforded against discrimination on the basis of familial status shall apply to any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years.

8. "Family" includes a single individual.

9. "Hearing" means that part of the administrative proceeding that involves the submission of evidence before the Board of Commissioners, either by oral presentation or written submission, and includes the submission of briefs and oral arguments on the evidence and applicable law.

10. "Party" means a person or agency named or admitted as a party to a proceeding or who intervenes in the proceeding.

11. "Prohibited basis" means discrimination perpetrated against another because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, handicap or disability, familial status, or national origin.

12. "Residential real estate-related transaction" means:

(i) the making or purchasing of loans or providing other financial assistance;

(I) for purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing or maintaining a dwelling; or

(II) secured by residential real estate; or

(ii) the selling, brokering, or appraising of residential real property.

(2) DISCRIMINATORY HOUSING PRACTICES.

(a) Real Estate Practices Prohibited.

1. This rule provides the Administrator's interpretation of conduct that is unlawful housing discrimination under sections 8-3-202, 203, 204, and 222 of the Georgia Fair Housing Law, as amended. In general, the prohibited actions are set forth under sections of this subpart which are most applicable to the discriminatory conduct described. However, an action illustrated in one section can constitute a violation under sections in the subpart. For example, the conduct described in Rule 186-2-.02(b)2. (iii) would constitute a violation of Rule 186-2-.02(b)1. as well as Rule 186-2-.02(c)1.

2. It shall be unlawful for a person to:

(i) refuse to sell or rent a dwelling after a bona fide offer has been made, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of a dwelling because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin, or to discriminate in the sale or rental of a dwelling because of handicap.

(ii) discriminate in the terms, conditions or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provisions of services or facilities in connections with sales or rentals, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(iii) Engage in any conduct relating to the provision of housing which otherwise makes unavailable or denies dwellings to persons because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(iv) 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 because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or any intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination.

(v) Represent to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin that a dwelling is not available for sale or rental when such dwelling is in fact available.

(vi) Engage in blockbusting practices in connection with the sale or rental of dwellings because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(vii) Deny access to or membership or participation in, or to discriminate against any person in his or her access to or membership or participation in, any multiple-listing service, real estate brokers' association, or other service organization or facility relating to the business of selling or renting a dwelling or in the terms or conditions or membership or participation, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

3. The application of the Georgia Fair Housing Law with respect to persons with handicaps and disabilities is discussed in Rule 186-2-.02(4)et seq.

(b) Unlawful to sell or rent or to negotiate for the sale or rental.

1. It shall be unlawful for a person to refuse to sell or rent a dwelling to a person who has made a bona fide offer, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin or to refuse to negotiate with a person for the sale or rental of a dwelling because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin, or to discriminate against any person in the sale or rental of a dwelling because of handicap.

2. Prohibited actions under this section include, but are not limited to:

(i) Failing to accept or consider a bona fide offer because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(ii) Refusing to sell or rent a dwelling to, or to negotiate for the sale or rental of a dwelling with any person because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(iii) Imposing different sales prices or rental charges for the sale or rental of a dwelling upon any person because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(iv) Using different qualification criteria or applications, or sale or rental standards or procedures, such as income standards, application requirements, application fees, credit analysis or sale or rental approval procedures or other requirements, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(v) Evicting tenants because of their race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin or because of the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin of a tenant's guest.

(c) Discrimination in terms, conditions and privileges and in services and facilities.

1. It shall be unlawful, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, to impose different terms, conditions or privileges relating to the sale or rental of a dwelling or to deny or limit services or facilities in connection with the sale or rental of a dwelling.

2. Prohibited actions under this section include, but are not limited to:

(i) Using different provisions in leases or contracts of sale, such as those relating to rental charges, security deposits and the terms of a lease and those relating to down payment and closing requirements, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(ii) Failing or delaying maintenance or repairs of sale or rental dwellings because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(iii) Failing to process an offer for the sale or rental of a dwelling or to communicate an offer accurately because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(iv) Limiting the use of privileges, services or facilities associated with a dwelling because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin of an owner, tenant or a person associated with him or her.

(v) Denying or limiting services or facilities in connection with the sale or rental of a dwelling, because a person failed or refused to provide sexual favors.

(d) Other prohibited sale and rental conduct.

1. It shall be unlawful, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, to restrict or attempt to restrict the choices of a person by word or conduct in connection with seeking, negotiating for, buying or renting a dwelling so as to perpetuate, or tend to perpetuate, segregated housing pattern, or to discourage or obstruct choices in a community, neighborhood or development.

2. It shall be unlawful because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, to engage in any conduct relating to the provision of housing or of services and facilities in connection therewith that otherwise makes unavailable or denies dwellings to persons.

3. Prohibited actions under paragraph 1. of this section, which are generally referred to as unlawful steering practices, include, but are not limited to:

(i) Discouraging any person from inspecting, purchasing or renting a dwelling because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or because of the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin of persons in a community, neighborhood or development.

(ii) Discouraging the purchase or rental of a dwelling because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, by exaggerating drawbacks or failing to inform any person of desirable features of a dwelling or of a community, neighborhood, or development.

(iii) Communicating to any prospective purchaser that he or she would not be comfortable or compatible with existing residents of a community, neighborhood, or development because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(iv) Assigning any person to a particular section of a community, neighborhood or development, or to a particular floor of a building, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

4. Prohibited activities relating to dwellings under paragraph 2. of this section include, but are not limited to:

(i) Discharging or taking other adverse action against an employee, broker or agent because he or she refused to participate in a discriminatory housing practice.

(ii) Employing codes or other devices to segregate or reject applicants, purchasers or renters, refusing to take or to show listings of dwellings in certain areas because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or refusing to deal with certain brokers or agents because they or one or more of their clients are of a particular race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(iii) Denying or delaying the processing of an application made by a purchaser or renter or refusing to approve such a person for occupancy in a cooperative or condominium dwelling because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(iv) Refusing to provide municipal services or property or hazard insurance for dwellings or providing such services or insurance differently because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(e) Discriminatory advertisements, statements and notices.

1. It shall be unlawful 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 which indicates any preference, limitation or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.

2. The prohibitions in this section shall apply to all written or oral notices or statements by a person engaged in the sale or rental of a dwelling. Written notices and statements include any applications, flyers, brochures, deeds, signs, banners, posters, billboards, or any documents used with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling.

3. Discriminatory notices, statements and advertisements include, but are not limited to:

(i) Using words, phrases, photographs, illustrations, symbols or forms which convey that dwellings are available or not available to a particular group of persons because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(ii) Expressing to agents, brokers, employees, prospective sellers or renters or any other persons a preference for a limitation on any purchaser or renter because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin of such persons.

(iii) Selecting media or locations for advertising the sale or rental of dwellings which deny particular segments of the housing marketing information about housing opportunities because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(iv) Refusing to publish advertising for the sale or rental of dwellings or requiring different charges or terms for such advertising because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

4. Rule 186-2-.06et seq. provide information to assist persons to advertise dwellings in a nondiscriminatory manner and describes the matters the Commission will review in evaluating compliance with the Georgia Fair Housing Law, as amended, and in investigating complaints alleging discriminatory housing practices involving advertising.

(f) Discriminatory representations on the availability of dwellings.

1. It shall be unlawful, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, to provide inaccurate or untrue information about the availability of dwellings for sale or rental.

2. Prohibited actions under this section include, but are not limited to:

(i) Indicating through words or conduct that a dwelling which is available for inspection, sale, or rental has been sold or rented, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(ii) Representing that covenants or other deed, trust or lease provisions which purport to restrict the sale or rental of dwellings because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin preclude the sale or rental of a dwelling to a person.

(iii) Enforcing covenants or other deed, trust, or lease provisions which preclude the sale or rental of a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(iv) Limiting information, by word or conduct, regarding suitably priced dwellings available for inspection, sale, or rental, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(v) Providing false or inaccurate information regarding the availability of a dwelling for sale or rental to any person, including testers, regardless of whether such person is actually seeking housing, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(g) Blockbusting.

1. It shall be unlawful, for profit, to induce or attempt to induce a person to sell or rent a dwelling by representations regarding entry or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or with a handicap.

2. In establishing a discriminatory housing practice under this section it is not necessary that there was in fact profit as long as profit was a factor for engaging in the blockbusting activity.

3. Prohibited actions under this section include, but are not limited to:

(i) Engaging, for profit, in conduct (including uninvited solicitations for listings) which conveys to a person that a neighborhood is undergoing or is about to undergo a change in the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin of persons residing in it, in order to encourage the person to offer a dwelling for sale or rental.

(ii) Encouraging, for profit, any person to sell or rent a dwelling through assertions that the entry or prospective entry of persons of a particular race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin, or with handicaps, can or will result in undesirable consequences for the project, neighborhood, or community, such as a lowering of property values, an increase in criminal or antisocial behavior, or a decline in the quality of schools or other services or facilities.

(h) Discrimination in the provision of brokerage services.

1. It shall be unlawful to deny any person access to or membership or participation in any multiple listing service, real estate brokers' organization or other service, organization, or facility relating to the business of selling or renting dwellings, or to discriminate against any person in the terms of conditions of such access, membership or participation, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

2. Prohibited actions under this section include, but are not limited to:

(i) Setting different fees for access to or membership in a multiple listing service because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(ii) Denying or limiting benefits accruing to members in a real estate brokers' organization because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(iii) Imposing different standards or criteria for membership in a real estate sales or rental organization because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(iv) Establishing geographic boundaries or office location or residence requirements for access to or membership or participation in any multiple listing service, real estate brokers' organization or other service, organization or facility relating to the business of selling or renting dwellings, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(3) DISCRIMINATION IN RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE-RELATED TRANSACTIONS.

(a) Discriminatory practices in residential real estate-related transactions.

1. This subpart provides the Commission's interpretation of the conduct that is unlawful housing discrimination under O.C.G.A. Section 8-3-204 of the Georgia Fair Housing Law.

2. It shall be unlawful for any person or other entity whose business includes engaging in residential real estate-related transactions to discriminate against any person in making available such a transaction, or in the terms or conditions of such a transaction, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(b) Residential real estate-related transactions.

1. The term residential "real estate-related transactions" means:

(i) The making or purchasing of loans or providing other financial assistance:

(I) For purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing or maintaining a dwelling; or

(II) Secured by residential real estate; or

(ii) The selling, brokering or appraising of residential real property.

(c) Discrimination in the making of loans and in the provision of other financial assistance.

1. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity whose business includes engaging in residential real estate-related transactions to discriminate against any person in making available loans or other financial assistance for a dwelling, or which is or is to be secured by a dwelling, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

2. Prohibited practices under this section include, but are not limited to, failing or refusing to provide to any person, in connection with a residential real estate-related transaction, information regarding the availability of loans or other financial assistance, application requirements, procedures or standards for the review and approval of loans or financial assistance, or providing information which is inaccurate or different from that provided others, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(d) Discrimination in the purchasing of loans.

1. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity engaged in the purchasing of loans or other debts or securities which support the purchase, construction, improvement, repair or maintenance of a dwelling, or which are secured by residential real estate, to refuse to purchase such loans, debts, or securities, or to impose different terms or conditions for such purchases, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

2. Unlawful conduct under this section includes, but is not limited to:

(i) Purchasing loans or other debts or securities which relate to, or which are secured by dwellings in certain communities or neighborhoods but not in others because of the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin of persons in such neighborhoods or communities.

(ii) Pooling or packaging loans or other debts or securities which related to, or which are secured by, dwellings differently because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(iii) Imposing or using different terms or conditions on the marketing or sale of securities issued on the basis of loans or other debts or securities which relate to, or which are secured by, dwellings because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

3. This section does not prevent consideration, in the purchasing of loans, of factors justified by business necessity, including requirements of Federal law, relating to a transaction's financial security or to protection against default or reduction of the value of the security. Thus, this provision would not preclude considerations employed in normal and prudent transactions, provided that no such factor may in any way relate to race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(e) Discrimination in the terms and conditions for making available loans or other financial assistance.

1. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity engaged in the making of loans or the provision of other financial assistance relating to the purchase, construction, improvement, repair or maintenance of dwellings, or which are secured by residential real estate to impose different terms or conditions for the availability of such loans or other financial assistance because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

2. Unlawful conduct under this section includes, but is not limited to:

(i) Using different policies, practices or procedures in evaluating or in determining credit worthiness of any person in connection with the provision of any loan or other financial assistance for a dwelling or for any loan or other financial assistance which is secured by residential real estate because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(ii) Determining the type of loan or other financial assistance to be provided with respect to a dwelling, or fixing the amount, interest rate, duration or other terms for a loan or other financial assistance for a dwelling or which is secured by residential real estate, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(f) Unlawful practices in the selling, brokering, or appraising of residential real property.

1. It shall be unlawful for any person or other entity whose business includes engaging in the selling, brokering or appraising of residential real property to discriminate against any person in making available such services, or in the performance of such services, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

2. For the purposes of this section, the term "appraisal" means an estimate or opinion of the value of a specified residential real property made in a business context in connection with the sale, rental, financing or refinancing of a dwelling or in connection with any activity that otherwise affects the availability of a residential real estate-related transaction, whether the appraisal is oral or written, or transmitted formally or informally. The appraisal includes all written comments and other documents submitted as support for the estimate or opinion of value.

3. Nothing in this section prohibits a person engaged in the business of making or furnishing appraisals of residential real property from taking into consideration factors other than race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

4. Practices which are unlawful under this section include, but are not limited to, using an appraisal of residential real property in connection with the sale, rental, or financing of any dwelling where the person knows or reasonably should know that the appraisal improperly takes into consideration race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(4) PROHIBITION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION BECAUSE OF HANDICAP.

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this subpart is to effectuate O.C.G.A. Section 8-3-202 of the Georgia Fair Housing Law, as amended.

(b) Definitions. As used in this subpart:

1. "Accessible," when used with respect to the public and common use areas of a building containing covered multifamily dwellings, means that the public or common use areas of the building can be approached, entered, and used by individuals with physical handicaps. The phrase "readily accessible to and usable by" is synonymous with accessible. As public or common use area that complies with the appropriate requirements of ANSI A117.1-1986 or a comparable standard is "accessible" within the meaning of this paragraph.

2. "Accessible route" means a continuous unobstructed path connecting accessible elements and spaces in a building or within a site that can be negotiated by a person with a severe disability using a wheelchair and that is also safe for and usable by people with other disabilities. Interior accessible routes may include corridors, floors, ramps, elevators and lifts. Exterior accessible routes may include parking access aisles, curb ramps, walks, ramps and lifts. A route that complies with the appropriate requirements of ANSI A117.1-1986 or a comparable standard is an "accessible route."

3. "ANSI A117.1-1986" means the 1986 edition of the American National Standard for buildings and facilities providing accessibility and usability for physically handicapped people.

4. "Building" means a structure, facility or portion thereof that contains or serves one or more dwelling units.

5. "Building entrance on an accessible route" means an accessible entrance to a building that is connected by an accessible route to public transportation stops, to accessible parking and passenger loading zones, or to public streets or sidewalks, if available. A building entrance that complies with ANSI A117.1-1986 or a comparable standard complies with the requirements of this paragraph.

6. "Common use areas" means rooms, spaces or elements inside or outside of a building that are made available for the use of residents of a building or the guests thereof. These areas include hallways, lounges, lobbies, laundry rooms, refuse rooms, mail rooms, recreational areas and passageways among and between buildings.

7. "Controlled substance" means any drug or other substance, or immediate precursor included in the definitions in O.C.G.A. Sections 16-13-21 and 16-13-110; and in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 802.

8. "Covered multifamily dwellings" means buildings consisting of four or more dwelling units if such buildings have one or more elevators; and ground floor dwelling units in other buildings consisting of four or more dwelling units.

9. "Dwelling unit" means a single unit of residence for a family or one or more persons. Examples of dwelling units include: a single family home; an apartment unit within an apartment building; and in other types of dwellings in which sleeping accommodations are provided but toileting or cooking facilities are shared by occupants of more than one room or portion of the dwelling, rooms in which people sleep. Examples of the latter include dormitory rooms and sleeping accommodations in shelters intended for occupancy as a residence for homeless persons.

10. "Entrance" means any access point to a building or portion of a building used by residents for the purpose of entering.

11. "Exterior" means all areas of the premises outside of an individual dwelling unit.

12. "First occupancy" means a building that has never before been used for any purpose.

13. "Ground floor" means a floor of a building with a building entrance on an accessible route. A building may have more than one ground floor.

14. "Handicap" or "disability," with respect to a person, means a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment. These terms do not include current, illegal use of or addition to a controlled substance (as defined O.C.G.A. Sections 16-13-21 and 16-13-110; and in Section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 802). As used in this definition:

(i) "physical or mental impairment" includes, but is not limited to:

(I) any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine;

(II) any mental psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities; or

(III) such diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, human immunodeficiency virus infection, mental retardation, emotional illness, drug addiction (other than addiction caused by current, illegal use of a controlled substance) and alcoholism.

(ii) "major life activity" means functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

(iii) "has a record of impairment" means has a history of, or has been misclassified as having, a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

(iv) "regard as having an impairment" means:

(I) has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit one or more major life activities, but is treated by another person as constituting such a limitation;

(II) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities only as a result of the attitudes of others toward such impairment; or

(III) has none of the impairments defined in paragraph 1. hereof, but is treated by another person as having such an impairment.

15. "Interior" means the spaces, parts, components or elements of an individual dwelling unit.

16. "Modification" means any change to the public or common use areas of a building or any change to a dwelling unit.

17. "Premises" means the interior or exterior spaces, parts, components or elements of a building, including individual dwelling units and the public and common use areas of a building.

18. "Public use areas" means the interior or exterior rooms or spaces of a building that are made available to the general public. Public use may be provided at a building that is privately or publicly owned.

19. "Site" means a parcel of land bounded by a property line or a designated portion of a public right of way.

(c) General prohibitions against discrimination because of handicap.

1. It shall be unlawful to discriminate in the sale or rental, or to otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any buyer or renter because of a handicap of:

(i) That buyer or renter;

(ii) A person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is so sold, rented, or made available; or

(iii) Any person associated with that person.

2. It shall be unlawful to discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with such dwelling, because of a handicap of:

(i) That buyer or renter;

(ii) A person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is so sold, rented, or made available; or

(iii) Any person associated with that person.

3. It shall be unlawful to make an inquiry to determine whether an applicant for a dwelling, a person intending to reside in that dwelling after it is so sold, rented or made available, or any person associated with that person, has a handicap or to make inquiry as to the nature or severity of a handicap of such a person. However, this paragraph does not prohibit the following inquiries, provided these inquiries are made of all applicants, whether or not they have handicaps:

(i) Inquiry into an applicant's ability to meet the requirements of ownership or tenancy;

(ii) Inquiry to determine whether an applicant is qualified for a dwelling available only to persons with handicaps or to persons with a particular type of handicap;

(iii) Inquiry to determine whether an applicant for a dwelling is qualified for a priority available to persons with handicaps or to persons with a particular type of handicap;

(iv) Inquiring whether an applicant for a dwelling is a current illegal abuser or addict of a controlled substance;

(v) Inquiring whether an applicant has been convicted of the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance.

4. Nothing in this subpart requires that a dwelling be made available to an individual whose tenancy would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or whose tenancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others.

(d) Reasonable modifications of existing premises.

1. It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse to permit, at the expense of a handicapped person, reasonable modifications of existing premises, occupied or to be occupied by a handicapped person, if the proposed modifications may be necessary to afford the handicapped person full enjoyment of the premises of a dwelling. In the case of a rental, the landlord may, where it is reasonable to do so, condition permission for a modification on the renter agreeing to restore the interior of the premises to the condition that existed before the modification, reasonable wear and tear excepted. The landlord may not increase for handicapped persons any customarily required security deposit. However, where it is necessary in order to ensure with reasonable certainty that funds will be available to pay for the restorations at the end of the tenancy, the landlord may negotiate as part of such a restoration agreement a provision requiring that the tenant pay into an interest bearing escrow account, over a reasonable period, a reasonable amount of money not to exceed the cost of the restorations. The interest in any such account shall accrue to the benefit of the tenant.

2. A landlord may condition permission for a modification on the renter providing a reasonable description of the proposed modifications as well as reasonable assurances that the work will be done in a workmanlike manner and that any required building permits will be obtained.

3. For guidance on the application of paragraph 1. of this section, the Administrator shall refer to the examples set forth in 24 C.F.R. Part 100Se ction 100.203(c), on reasonable modifications of existing premises, and any other relevant sources.

(e) Reasonable accommodations.

1. It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford a handicapped person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling unit, including public and common use areas.

2. For guidance on the application of paragraph 1. of this section, the Administrator shall refer to the examples set forth in 24 C.F.R. Part 100Se ction 100.204(b), on reasonable accommodations, and any other relevant sources.

(f) Design and construction requirements.

1. Covered multifamily dwellings for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, shall be designed and constructed to have at least one building entrance on an accessible route unless it is impractical to do so because of the terrain or unusual characteristics of the site. For purposes of this section, a covered multifamily dwelling shall be deemed to be designed and constructed for first occupancy on or before March 13, 1991, if they are occupied by that date or if the last building permit or renewal thereof for the covered multifamily dwellings is issued by the State, County or local government on or before January 13, 1990. The burden of establishing impracticality because of terrain or unusual site characteristics is on the person or persons who designed or constructed the housing facility.

2. For guidance on the application of paragraph 1. of this section, the Administrator shall refer to the examples set forth in 24 C.F.R. Part 100Se ction 100.205(b), on design and construction requirements, and any other relevant sources.

3. All covered multifamily dwellings for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, with a building entrance on an accessible route shall be designed and constructed in such a manner that:

(i) The public and common use areas are readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons;

(ii) All the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises are sufficiently wide to allow passage by handicapped persons in wheelchairs; and

(iii) All premises within covered multifamily dwelling units contain the following features of adaptable design:

(I) An accessible route into and through the covered dwelling unit;

(II) Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations;

(III) Reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars around the toilet, tub, shower, stall and shower seat, where such facilities are provided; and

(IV) Usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.

4. For guidance on the application of paragraph 3. of this section, the Administrator shall refer to the examples set forth in 24 C.F.R. Part 100Se ction 100.205(d), on design and construction requirements, and any other relevant sources.

5. Compliance with the appropriate requirements of ANSI A117.1-1986 suffices to satisfy the requirements of paragraph 3. (iii) of this section.

6. Compliance with a duly enacted law of the State or unit of general local government that includes the requirements of paragraphs 1. and 3. of this section satisfies the requirements of paragraphs 1. and 3. of this section.

(5) HOUSING FOR OLDER PERSONS.

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this subpart is to effectuate the exemption in the Georgia Fair Housing Law, as amended, that relates to housing for older persons.

(b) Exemption.

1. The provisions regarding familial status in this part do not apply to housing which satisfies the requirements of Rules 186-2-.02(5)(c), 186-2-.02(5)(d) or 186-2-.02(5)(e).

2. Nothing in this part limits the applicability of any reasonable local, State, or Federal restrictions regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling.

(c) State and federal elderly housing programs. The provisions regarding familial status in this part shall not apply to housing provided under any Federal or State program that the Administrator determines is specifically designed and operated to assist elderly persons, as defined in the State or Federal program. In making such determination, the Administrator shall use as guidance applicable standards as determined by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

(d) 62 or over housing.

1. The provisions regarding familial status in this part shall not apply to housing intended for, and solely occupied by, persons 62 years of age or older. Housing satisfies the requirements of this section even though:

(i) There are persons residing in such housing on September 13, 1988, who are under 62 years of age, provided that all new occupants are persons 62 years of age or older;

(ii) There are unoccupied units, provided that such units are reserved for occupancy by persons 62 years of age or over;

(iii) There are units occupied by employees of the housing (and family members residing in the same unit) who are under 62 years of age provided they perform substantial duties directly related to the management or maintenance of the housing.

2. For guidance on the application of paragraph 1. of this section, the Administrator shall refer to examples set forth in 24 C.F.R. Part 100Se ction 100.303(b), on 62 or over housing, and any other relevant sources.

(e) 55 or over housing.

1. The provisions regarding familial status shall not apply to housing intended and operated for occupancy by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit, provided that the housing satisfies the requirements in Rules 186-2-.02(5)(e)2. or 2. (i) and the requirements of Rule 186-2-.02(5)(e)3.

2. The housing facility has significant facilities and services specifically designed to meet the physical or social needs of older persons. "Significant facilities and services specifically designed to meet the physical or social needs of older persons" include, but are not limited to, social and recreational programs, continuing education, information and counseling, recreational, homemaker, outside maintenance and referral services, an accessible physical environment, emergency and preventive health care programs, congregate dining facilities, transportation to facilitate access to social services, and services designed to encourage and assist residents to use the services and facilities available to them (the housing facility need not have all of these features to qualify for the exemption under this subparagraph); or

(i) It is not practicable to provide significant facilities and services designed to meet the physical or social needs of older persons and the housing facility is necessary to provide important housing opportunities for older persons. In order to satisfy this paragraph 2. (i) of this section, the owner or manager of the housing facility must demonstrate through credible and objective evidence that the provision of significant facilities and services designed to meet the physical or social needs of older persons would result in depriving older persons in the relevant geographic area of needed and desired housing. The following factors, among others, are relevant in meeting the requirements of this paragraph 2. (i) of this section:

(I) Whether the owner or manager of the housing facility has endeavored to provide significant facilities and services designed to meet the physical or social needs of older persons either by the owner or by some other entity. Demonstrating that such services and facilities are expensive to provide is not alone sufficient to demonstrate that the provision of such services is not practicable.

(II) The amount of rent charged, if the dwellings are rented, or the price of the dwellings, if they are offered for sale.

(III) The income range of the residents of the housing facility.

(IV) The demand for housing for older persons in the relevant geographic area.

(V) The range of housing choices for older persons within the relevant geographic area.

(VI) The availability of other similarly priced housing for older persons in the relevant geographic area. If similarly priced housing for older persons with significant facilities and services is reasonably available in the relevant geographic area, then the housing facility does not meet the requirements of this paragraph 2. (i) of the section.

(VII) The vacancy rate of the housing facility.

3. At least 80% of the units in the housing facility are occupied by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit except that a newly constructed housing facility for first occupancy after March 12, 1989, need not comply with this paragraph 3. of this section until 25% of the units in the facility are occupied; and

(i) The owner or manager of a housing facility publishes and adheres to policies and procedures which demonstrate an intent by the owner or manager to provide housing for persons 55 years of age or older. The following factors, among others, are relevant in determining whether the owner or manager of a housing facility has complied with the requirements of this paragraph 3. (i) of this section:

(I) The manner in which the housing facility is described to prospective residents.

(II) The nature of any advertising designed to attract prospective residents.

(III) Age verification procedures.

(IV) Lease provisions.

(V) Written rules and regulations.

(VI) Actual practices of the owner or manager in enforcing relevant lease provisions and relevant rules or regulations.

4. Housing satisfies the requirements of this section even though:

(i) On September 13, 1988, under 80% of the occupied units in the housing facility are occupied by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit, provided that at least 80% of the units that are occupied by new occupants after September 13, 1988, are occupied by at least one person 55 years of age or older.

(ii) There are unoccupied units, provided that at least 80% of such units are reserved for occupancy by at least one person 55 years of age or over.

(iii) There are units occupied by employees of the housing (and family members residing in the same unit) who are under 55 years of age provided they perform substantial duties directly related to the management or maintenance of the housing.

5. For guidance on the application of this Rule, the Administrator shall refer to the examples set forth in 24 C.F.R. Part 100Se ction 100.304(e), on 55 or over housing, and any other relevant sources.

(6) INTERFERENCE, COERCION OR INTIMIDATION.

(a) Prohibited interference, coercion or intimidation.

1. This subpart provides the Commission's interpretation of the conduct that is unlawful under O.C.G.A. Section 8-3-222 of the Georgia Fair Housing Law.

2. It shall be unlawful to coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of; or on account of that person having exercised or enjoyed, or on account of that person having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected by this rule.

3. Conduct made unlawful under this rule includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(i) Coercing a person, either orally, in writing, or by other means, to deny or limit the benefits provided that person in connection with the sale or rental of a dwelling or in connection with a residential real estate-related transaction because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(ii) Threatening, intimidating or interfering with persons in their enjoyment of a dwelling because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin of such persons, or of visitors or associates of such persons.

(iii) Threatening an employee or agent with dismissal or an adverse employment action, or taking such adverse employment action, for any effort to assist a person seeking access to the sale or rental of a dwelling or seeking access to any residential real estate-related transaction, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin of that person or of any person associated with that person.

(iv) Intimidating or threatening any person because that person is engaging in activities designed to make other persons aware of; or encouraging such other persons to exercise, rights granted or protected by this part.

(v) Retaliating against any person because that person has made a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in a proceeding under the Georgia Fair Housing Law, as amended.

(Original Rule entitled "Discriminatory Conduct Under the Georgia Fair Housing Law, as Amended" adopted. F. Dec. 29, 1992; eff. Jan. 18, 1993.)

O.C.G.A. Secs. 8-3-200(a)(b), 8-3-201, 8-3-202, 8-3-202(a), 8-3-202(a)(3), 8-3-202(a)(4), 8-3-202(a)(5), 8-3-202(a)(6)(7), 8-3-202(a)(7)(B)(i), 8-3-202(a)(7)(B)(ii), 8-3-202(a)(7)(B)(iii)(I),(II),(III)(7)(D), 8-3-202)6), 8-3-203, 8-3-204(a)(1), 8-3-204(a)(2), 8-3-204(b), 8-3-205(a)(b), 8-3-205(b)(1)(A), 8-3-205(b)(1)(B), 8-3-205(b)(1)(C), 8-3-222.

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