Fighting Rental Housing Discrimination FAQ
What types of housing discrimination are renters protected from?
1. What types of housing discrimination are renters protected from?
The federal Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Amendments Act (42 U.S. Code §§ 3601-3619, 3631) prohibit landlords from choosing tenants on the basis of a group characteristic such as:
- ethnic background or national origin
- familial status, including having children or being pregnant (except in certain designated senior housing), or
- a mental or physical disability.
In addition, some state and local laws prohibit discrimination based on a person's marital status, age, or sexual orientation.
Landlords can always select tenants using criteria that are based on valid business reasons, such as requiring a minimum income or positive references from previous landlords, as long as these standards are applied equally to all tenants.