The Fair Housing Act

What is the Fair Housing Act?

The Fair Housing Act prevents people from discrimination when they are renting, buying, or securing financing for housing. The act prohibits discrimination due to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or the presence of children.

The Fair Housing Act covers most housing. In some cases, the Act will exempt owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing that an organization operates and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.

During the sale or rental of housing, no landlord or property owner may take any of the following actions based on the person’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap…

  • Refusal to rent or sell housing
  • Refusal to negotiate for housing
  • Make housing unavailable
  • Deny a dwelling
  • Set different terms or rules for sale or renting of a dwelling
  • Providing 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.

Individuals who have a disability receive extra protection under the Fair Housing Act. If you or someone associated with you:

  • Has a physical or a mental disability (including hearing, mobility or visual issues, chronic alcoholism, chronic mental illness, AIDS, AIDS Related Complex and mental retardation), that substantially limits one or more major life activities,
  • Has a record of such a disability
  • Are regarded as having such a disability

Then your Landlord may not…