Q: I enjoy reading your articles and hope you can give me some information in regards to renting out a room with private bath in the lower level of my home for additional income. I would furnish utilities, washer and dryer, kitchen privileges, storage area if needed, and some furniture. I need to know if renting out a room in a personal residence comes under the same federal laws prohibiting discrimination, or do I have more leeway? I want rent to a graduate student, preferably female, because I live alone and would feel more comfortable with a renter of the same sex. --Marilyn Z. A: There's a lot of misunderstanding out there about whether the federal rules prohibiting discrimination apply in a "lodger" situation. The cause of the confusion is the part of the law that exempts owner-occupied properties of four or fewer units from the law's reach. But another section of the law applies to advertisers or publishers of rental information, and in this part, the owner...
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