The Fair Housing Act

April was fair housing month. The main objective of this celebration is to commemorate the approval of the law more than 50 years ago, as well as to raise awareness about the issue and remind us that we all have the right to a habitable home. 

This law seeks to end discrimination in accessing proper housing, such as the loan process, the purchase process, or the rental process. Additionally, this law prohibits discrimination by direct housing providers, such as landlords, real estate companies, and other entities such as a municipality, bank, or lending facility.

Below, we will review the most common types of discrimination by landlords:

Discrimination based on race

Concerning color/race discrimination, this law seeks to prevent property owners from denying housing to any person because of their race, color, or ethnicity.

Discrimination based on religion

This type of discrimination usually occurs when a landlord makes it difficult or denies access to rent a property to a person or family based on their religion or not having a religion.

Discrimination based on gender

Gender discrimination can include actions that go far beyond being able to obtain a habitable place to live. This type of discrimination can also occur when there is some type of sexual harassment by the landlord. Additionally, this type of discrimination includes discriminatory acts based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

Discrimination based on nationality

This situation can occur when an application is denied or the process is complicated because of the person’s nationality. This type of discrimination can even occur based on misconceptions about a person’s origin or nationality. 

Discrimination based on family status

Any discriminatory act against families with children under the age of 18 is considered illegal. The landlord cannot make differences or impose inappropriate rules or conditions for families with children. Some examples are designating an area of ​​the complex for families with children or controlling their access to recreational spaces.

Discrimination based on dissability

This type of discrimination can occur if you have a physical or mental disability. Unfortunately, people with disabilities often experience exclusion and discrimination, including in the process of finding suitable housing.

Discrimination does not only affect the process of acquiring a property. There are discriminatory acts that can occur during the duration of the lease agreement, even if there was no indication of discrimination at the beginning. If this is the case, the victim can file a claim with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or file a lawsuit in state or federal court.

If you face a case of discrimination regarding your housing, you should not sit idly by. You deserve a decent place to live. Give us a call!

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