Fighting Rental Housing Discrimination FAQ

What kinds of subtle actions might be illegal discrimination by the landlord?

The Fair Housing Acts prohibit landlords from taking any of the following actions based on race, religion, or any other protected category:

  • falsely denying that a rental unit is available to some applicants
  • advertising that indicates a preference based on group characteristic, such as skin color
  • setting more restrictive standards, such as higher income, for certain tenants
  • refusing to reasonably accommodate the needs of disabled tenants, such as allowing a guide dog, hearing dog, or other service animal
  • setting different terms for some tenants, such as adopting an inconsistent policy of responding to late rent payments, or
  • terminating a tenancy for a discriminatory reason.

For more information, see Every Landlord's Guide to Finding Great Tenants, by Janet Portman (Nolo).

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