Any effort to block your right to fair housing is called housing discrimination. Housing discrimination is against the law. Discrimination occurs when housing providers treat people differently because of their race, color, national origin, religion, gender, family status (having children under age 18 in the household), or disability. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the rental, sales, mortgage lending, and home insurance markets, and in any other housing-related services. Here are just a few examples of illegal practices:
- Realtors or rental agents guiding clients to or away from neighborhoods or areas based on race
- Insurance agents or banks refusing to insure or finance a home based on the racial makeup of a neighborhood
- Landlords or property managers not allowing a service animal (such as a guide dog) or wheelchair ramp in an apartment building
- Landlords or property managers saying “no children allowed”
- Building non-accessible apartments or refusing to provide “reasonable accommodations” for tenants with disabilities
- Demanding sexual favors in exchange for rental assistance
- Inflating the price of a home to discourage someone from making an offer
- Refusing to rent an apartment to a person with HIV/AIDS
- Selectively asking for a “green card” or other documentation based on an applicant’s accent or ethnic background
What Should I Do If I Think My Rights Have Been Violated?
If you suspect your rights have been violated be sure to:
- Keep records of any meetings and phone calls with the landlord, property manager, real estate agent, loan officer, or insurance agent.
- Write down everything that happened.
- Save all receipts, applications, business cards, and other documents relating to your housing, financing, or lending search.
Contact the Fair Housing Center at 334-263-4663 or complete the form below: