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I own a residential rental building in New Jersey. A

Customer Question
I own a residential rental...
I own a residential rental building in New Jersey.
A prospect applied to rent in the building. This prospect is a leasing agent for a competitor building located across the street.
I agreed to rent to this person if they would sign a non-disclosure agreeing not to share any info regarding leasing and management practices of our building gleaned from living in the building, with her employer, my competitor.
I made it clear that this decision had nothing to do with any Fair Housing Act policy.
My decision to deny them if they didn’t sign the non-disclosure was based wholly on a concern for the safety of my business and had nothing to do with any discrimination.
Is what I did legal?
Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 1 minute by:
11/9/2017
Lawyer: Roy Hadavi,
 replied 9 months ago
Roy Hadavi
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1,501
Experience: Attorney at Law Offices of Rosenstein & Associates
Verified

Hi Louis. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney. I would be happy to provide assistance. Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

Answer: Yes, it is permissible to deny an employee of a competitor housing based on that fact. Fair Housing laws require landlords not to discriminate based on a protected class. Competitor employment is not a protected class.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I’m curious if there is any case law on this issue.
Lawyer: Roy Hadavi,
 replied 9 months ago

There is no case law, as this is the absence of one of the required protected classes, which are, "race, creed, color, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, civil union status, affectional or sexual orientation, familial status, actual or perceived physical or mental disability, ancestry, nationality, domestic partner status, or source of lawful income used for mortgage or rental payments." You can view this information in a memorandum prepared by the then New Jersey Attorney General by clicking here.

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