Industry NewsRentals must face fair housing charges

Appeals court ruling sends 'clear message' to Web site operators

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Join 4,000 real estate pros at Connect SF, Aug 7‑11, 2017 LLC, a company that operates a Web site that matches people with rooms to rent with tenants, may have violated fair housing laws by requiring users to disclose their sex, sexual orientation and whether they had children who would live with them, an appeals court has ruled. In a ruling that sends a lawsuit against the company back down to a district court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned the lower court's ruling that was protected by the Communications Decency Act if users of the company's Web site used it in ways that violated fair housing laws. In a precedent-setting decision, the appeals court said that although was not responsible for answers provided by users in open-ended questions, it became more than a passive participant in the process when it created online forms that asked users for information that could be used to discriminate against them -- namely, their sex, family status and sexual orientatio...