Know Your Rights – Examples of Discrimination

 

Housing discrimination affects people of all races, ethnicities, national origins, and religions. Women, people with disabilities, and families with children may also face barriers to their fair housing rights.

Examples of Discrimination in Rental Housing

Fair housing law prohibits taking any of the following actions based on race, religion, or any other protected characteristic:

  • Falsely claiming that a rental unit is unavailable
  • Advertising or stating a preference based on a group characteristic
  • Denying access to a rental listing service
  • Setting more restrictive standards, such as higher income requirements
  • Refusing to reasonably accommodate disabled tenants who need assistive animals, or charging an additional fee or deposit for assistive animals
  • Requiring higher fees or deposits from some tenants
  • Setting different terms for some tenants, such as whether late rent payments will be accepted or penalized
  • Providing different housing services or facilities
  • Terminating a tenancy for a discriminatory reason

Also, it is illegal for anyone to threaten or retaliate against a person who has filed a housing discrimination complaint, or participated in an investigation of a housing discrimination complaint.

Examples of Discrimination in the Sale or Financing of Housing

In the sale of housing, fair housing law prohibits taking any of the following actions based on race, religion, or any other protected characteristic:

  • Falsely claiming that a house is not available for purchase
  • Advertising or stating a preference for a certain group
  • Refusing to negotiate for the sale of housing
  • Denying access to a multiple listing service
  • Refusing to make a mortgage loan or to provide information regarding loans
  • Imposing different terms on a loan, such as higher interest rates, points, or fees
  • Discriminating in appraising property
  • Refusing to purchase a loan or setting different terms for purchasing a loan
  • Refusing to provide municipal services
  • Refusing to provide property insurance or hazard insurance for dwellings, or providing such services or insurance differently
  • Persuading owners to sell or rent based on discriminatory fears or stereotypes (blockbusting)

Again, it is illegal for anyone to threaten or retaliate against a person who has filed a housing discrimination complaint, or participated in an investigation of a housing discrimination complaint.

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