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Common Signs of Housing Discrimination

Housing discrimination is more than a refusal to rent, sell, or finance housing. It can come with “a smile and a handshake.”  

While commonly experienced, housing discrimination may take on forms that are hard to recognize. It can be subtle, friendly, and difficult to pin down.  

Housing discrimination could sound like this:

  • “Sorry, we just rented the last apartment”
  • “No disability, we only rent to working people”
  • “We aren’t set up for children”
  • “You’ll have to end your maternity leave and return to work before we can process your loan application”
  • “What religion are you?”
  • “We don’t accept that breed of dog, even for an emotional support animal”
  • “A boy and a girl can’t share a bedroom”
  • “We must have lost your application”
  • “Married people only”
  • “You might feel more comfortable in another neighborhood”
  • “Most of the people who live in this building are ‘professionals’”
  • “You have to speak English”
  • “If you go out with me, I’ll lower your rent payment”
  • “You can’t build a ramp for access to the building—it won’t look good”
  • “Your credit isn’t good enough”

Some signs of possible discrimination include:

  • A refusal to sell, rent, or show available housing
  • Requiring different terms and conditions for identical dwellings, i.e. charging higher rent, security deposit for different tenants
  • Being told that the dwelling isn’t right for you or your family
  • Being told that housing isn’t available in an apartment with a “For Rent” sign
  • Housing advertisements that say “no kids” or “adults only”
  • A refusal to make a reasonable accommodation or allow a modification to make a dwelling accessible for a person with a disability
  • Harassment or intimidation
  • Offering non‐standard and unfavorable terms in the purchase of a home or property insurance
  • Terms of availability that change between a phone contact and an in‐person visit
  • Being steered to racially segregated neighborhoods during your home search
  • Excessive or inappropriate questioning upon requesting information about a dwelling

If you have any reason to believe that you may have been the victim of housing discrimination, please call us toll-free at 1-877-979-FAIR to discuss the situation.

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