Anti Discrimination Policy

 

What is Komfortstay's Anti-Discrimination Policy?


Komfortstay is an open marketplace. Through their experiences on Komfortstay, we hope that our guests and hosts build meaningful connections with people from all over the globe.
To that end, we prohibit content that promotes discrimination, bigotry, racism, hatred, harassment or harm against any individual or group, and we require all users to comply with local laws and regulations.
Many countries, including the U.S., have laws preventing discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or age. In the U.S., anti-discrimination laws apply to discrimination by any inn, hotel, motel, or other establishment that provides lodging to guests. The two main federal laws in this area are the Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968) (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of disability, which may include things such as access and service dogs.

In addition, fair housing laws often prohibit discrimination in the selling or renting of such housing based on race, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability.
As a host, you should be familiar with the laws that apply to you and your listing.
If you believe a listing or person on the site is in violation of this position, learn how to report it.

 

ADA and FHA Compliance


It's important for U.S. hosts to understand their responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We've included some useful information and resources below.

 

 

  •     The Fair Housing Act (FHA)
  •    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  •     Improper Discriminatory Practices
  •    Service Animals
  •    State and Local Laws

The Fair Housing Act (FHA)


The FHA prohibits housing providers from discriminating against applicants or residents because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and familial status—including children under the age of 18 staying with parents or legal custodians and pregnant women—in most housing related transactions, with a few limited exceptions.
The FHA also makes it unlawful to advertise any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on these categories. One type of disability discrimination prohibited by the FHA is the refusal "to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford person(s) [with disabilities] equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling."
Additionally, the FHA prohibits housing providers from treating persons less favorably than others because of their disability, refusing residency to persons with disabilities, or placing conditions on their residency, because those persons may require reasonable accommodations, and the FHA requires that new covered multifamily housing be designed and constructed to be accessible. The FHA also prohibits harassment of anyone exercising a fair housing right and retaliation against an individual because he or she has assisted—or participated in any manner—in a fair housing investigation.


Does the FHA apply to me as a host?


The FHA does not apply to all hosts. The FHA contains exemptions for owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing rented without the use of a broker if the private individual owner doesn’t own more than three such single-family units at one time, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members and so long as all advertising is nondiscriminatory. There is also a bed-and-breakfast or rooming house exemption for properties "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" which might apply to some hosts' listings.


The FHA also specifically exempts some senior housing facilities and communities from liability for discrimination based on familial status. To qualify for this exemption, such housing must be intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55 years of age or older or intended for and solely occupied by persons 62 years of age or older. This "housing for older persons" exemption does protect against liability for housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, disability or national origin.
However, even if you’re exempt from complying with the FHA, it is still illegal to advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap. This prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to single-family and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the FHA. More information can be found at 24 C.F.R. pt. 100.


Even if the FHA does not apply to you, we expect our hosts to conduct themselves in a respectful manner and work to bridge differences and make accommodations where possible. Through their experiences on Komfortstay, we hope that our guests and hosts build meaningful connections with people from all over the globe.


Under the FHA, may I exclude people with children?


If the FHA applies to you, in most instances, you may not exclude children. More information on this exemption can be found at 24 C.F.R. pt. 100, subpart E.

 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)


The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by places of public accommodation and places of public accommodation must comply with basic nondiscrimination requirements that prohibit exclusion, segregation, and unequal treatment. They also must comply with specific requirements related to architectural standards for new and altered buildings; reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures; effective communication with people with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities; and other access requirements. Additionally, public accommodations must remove barriers in existing buildings where it is easy to do so without much difficulty or expense, given the public accommodation's resources. To be protected under the ADA, an individual must have a disability or have a relationship or association with an individual with a disability.


Does the ADA apply to me as a host?


The ADA does not apply to all hosts. In most cases, the ADA does not apply to residential housing. As a host, you’re subject to the provisions of the ADA if your listing fits its criteria for a "place of public accommodation." Federal regulations (28 C.F.R. § 36.104) define a place of public accommodation to include a place of lodging, except for an establishment located within a facility that contains not more than five rooms for rent or hire and that actually is occupied by the proprietor of the establishment as the residence of the proprietor.


This means that if you are a host renting out five or fewer rooms, the ADA does not likely apply to you. However, you should review the law and additional information regarding the definition of a “place of lodging” at 28 C.F.R. § 36.104.


Even if the ADA does not apply to you, we expect our hosts to conduct themselves in a respectful manner and work to bridge differences and make accommodations where possible. Through their experiences on Komfortstay, we hope that our guests and hosts build meaningful connections with people from all over the globe.

 

Improper Discriminatory Practices


Any of the following actions are discriminatory if they are based on a person's race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin:

 

  • Refusing to rent, or applying more burdensome criteria to certain guests
  • Misrepresenting the availability of a unit
  • Discriminating in choosing guests
  • Limiting the use of common facilities
  • Failing to provide the same level of service, or adding extra fees or payments
  • Denying a request for a reasonable accommodation
  • Threatening, coercing, intimidating or interfering with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others who exercise that right

Bear in mind this list is not exhaustive.

Service Animals


What is a service animal?


You must accept service animals if the ADA or FHA applies to your listing. A service animal, in short, is a guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government. Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars and harnesses. Some, but not all, are licensed or certified and have identification papers.


Remember that even if the ADA or FHA do not apply to you, there may be additional (broader) state laws that do.


I have a clear "no pets" policy. Do I still have to allow service animals?


If the ADA or FHA applies to you, yes. A service animal is not a pet. The ADA requires you to modify your no-pets policy to allow the use of a service animal by a person with a disability.


May I charge a special maintenance or cleaning fee for guests who bring service animals?

If the ADA or FHA applies to you, no. You may charge guests with disabilities if a service animal causes damage, so long as it is the regular practice to charge non-disabled customers for the same types of damages.

Am I responsible for the service animal while the person with a disability is my guest? What if the animal is threatening?


No. The care or supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of his or her owner. You’re not required to provide care or food or a special location for the animal. You may exclude any animal, including a service animal, when that animal's behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.


Do I have to accept guests with service animals even if I am allergic, or animals are prohibited in my building, etc.?


If you’re covered by the ADA or the FHA, you may be required to accept service animals or assistance animals, no matter your building’s policy or your allergies.


State and Local Laws


While the FHA and ADA—which are federal laws—provide for minimum requirements, you may also be subject to additional and more stringent local laws that prohibit discrimination. Many states and local communities have passed anti-discrimination ordinances and statutes, and renters’ rights vary greatly from state to state. As a host, you should be familiar with the laws that apply to you and your listing(s).