Fair Housing FAQ

What is FAIR HOUSING?

In the sale and rental of housing, it is illegal for anyone to take any of the following actions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status or familial status:

  • Refuse to rent or sell housing
  • Refuse to negotiate for housing
  • Make housing unavailable
  • Deny a dwelling
  • Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide different housing services or facilities
  • Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale or rental
  • For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent
  • Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service related to the sale or rental of housing.
  • Threaten, coerce, intimate or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others who exercise that right
  • Advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on protected categories (above). This prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to single-family and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act.

If I have a disability, can I get more protection?

There are additional protections available if you or someone associated with you has a physical or mental disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities, or has a record of such a disability or is regarded as having such a disability. In these instances, your landlord may not refuse to let you make reasonable modifications to your dwelling or common use areas, at your expense, if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing. Your landlord may also not refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing. Where reasonable, however, the landlord may permit changes only if you agree to restore the property to its original condition when you move.

Who should I contact if my Fair Housing rights have been violated?

If you believe that your rights have been violated, HUD’s Housing Discrimination Complaint Form is available for you to download, complete and return or complete online and submit at www.HUD.gov; or you may write to or telephone the local HUD office.

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