Housing discrimination means racial or another type of discrimination that impacts one’s ability to buy or rent a house. The most common type of housing discrimination involves a property owner who rejects a proposal from potential occupants.
They discriminate occupants based on age, race, marital status, gender, source of funding, etc. In addition, the owner may discriminate implicitly or explicitly. There are different laws that to save you from discrimination and how to fight against it.
Breach of the anti-discrimination law involves the following:
- Refusal to rent, sell, or lease rooms, condos, apartments, or houses to protected people
- Denial to negotiate for the rental, sale, or lease of a housing
- The representation that accommodation is not available for sale, inspection, or rental when it is available
- Refusal for a home loan and landlord’s insurance
- Termination or cancellation of a rental or sale agreement
- Policies, terms, and conditions that result in disparate access to housing services
- Offering inferior terms, privileges, conditions, facilities, or services related to the housing accommodation
- Sexual harassment including undesirable sexual advances or demanding sexual benefits for housing rights
- Retribution against anyone filing a complaint
Housing Discrimination Laws
According to the Fair Housing Act 1968, biases against buyers by sellers based on different factors prohibit in the US. The federal government spread the Fair Housing Act in 1974 to involve security for gender.
Also, the federal government expanded the Fair Housing Act in 1988 to save families, children, and disabled people. In addition, several local and state authorities have added specific preventions for sexual preference and other suitable categories to protect people.
How to Fight Back Against Housing Discrimination
According to anti-discrimination and harassment laws, landlords can deny real-estate transactions to anyone due to any reason. They can do so because proving discrimination is very difficult.
So, a prospective renter or homebuyer must actively listen to brokers or lenders and take the notes in the best possible way. Then, they should gather enough evidence required to file a suit with state or local housing officials.
They must look for the following:
● Red-flag Language
The buyer must take note of all the statements of the seller or landlord that may be proof of discrimination. For instance, sometimes, your real estate agent uses a specific language like “I don’t think you would fit in this neighborhood.”
Suppose you think they are trying to lead you to any particular area with specific religion or race. It could be a red flag.
● Unexpected Roadblocks
Some applicants face sudden obstacles after they are financially qualified for the place. It is also a sign of housing discrimination.
For example, you try to purchase or rent an apartment, but the owner denies you. Then you find that it is still in the market for sale or rent.
In cases like this, contact the organizations like the Fair Housing Justice Center. They can arrange testers from different races to check for disparate treatment.
● Negative Credit Information
Renters have resort if they think lender denies you because of the following reasons:
- Refusal because of insufficient or negative information provided by a consumer reporting agency.
- The lender demands high rent.
- Denial because of adverse credit information.
In such cases, federal and state fair credit laws will see the reason for rejection by the lender. They will also demand the agency’s name, which gave the wrong information.
Also, they will ask for a copy of the credit report from the credit card agency. Then, at last, the renter or buyer can report the suspected discrimination or fraud to CFPB and HUD.
When you fight back against housing discrimination, you will need patience, enough evidence, and sound legal advice. So, pay attention and take proper notes while seeking legal counsel.