Housing Discrimination

What Is Housing Discrimination?

Housing discrimination occurs when a person is treated differently than another person during the sale, rental, or financing of dwellings, as well as other housing related transactions, based on a particular characteristic they have.  A group of people that share a particular characteristic is referred to as a protected class.

Protected Classes
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of:
• Race
• Color
• Religion
• Sex
• Family Status
• Disability
• National Origin

Every person, regardless of their particular race, color, religion, etc., falls under at least one of these classes and is therefore protected against housing discrimination under federal law.

Many states, counties, and cities have their own fair housing laws that include additional protected classes not included under the Fair Housing Act, such as sexual orientation, military status, marital status, etc.

The fair housing laws apply to landlords, sellers, brokers, lenders, insurance agents, neighbors, and other people in the housing industry.

Housing discrimination is still prevalent in our society. If you are looking for housing, own your own home, or are a housing provider you should know your rights and responsibilities under fair housing laws. The information provided on this site is intended to be used to provide readers with information and guidance for general purposes only. This information is not intended to be legal advice, as we are not attorneys, and should not be taken as such. If you need legal advice, please seek the aid of an attorney.

Examples of Housing Discrimination

• Intimidating or harassing tenants
• Refusing to rent, sell, or offer housing-related services
• Falsely denying that housing is available
• Treating tenants differently when providing repairs or services
• Applying different rules or rental amounts
• Steering people to rent in certain sections of town or certain properties
• Discriminatory advertising
• Refusing to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities

If a landlord, seller, insurance agent, or mortgage broker engages in these activities because of the race, color, religion, sex, family status, disability, national origin, or military status of a prospective or current tenant or buyer, they may be held liable under state and federal fair housing laws.

Housing Providers

Housing providers are those involved with housing related transactions. This can include landlords, sellers, brokers, real estate agents, lenders, insurance agents, property managers, maintenance staff, and many others in the housing industry. The fair housing law applies to all housing providers, as well as neighbors and guests of residents.

It is the responsibility of every housing provider to provide housing equally, without making distinctions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, family status, and more. Knowing your responsibilities as a housing provider can promote equal housing opportunities for all.

Persons with Disabilities

Persons with disabilities have additional rights under fair housing laws to ensure open housing opportunities and the ability to equally enjoy a home.

Click here for more information.

FHCS Housing Discrimination Complaint Service

Contact us if you think you’ve experienced housing discrimination.
Click here or call us at 330.376.6191 / Toll-free: 877.376.6191.

If you choose to file a housing discrimination complaint, our office can help you file your complaint with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission or the US Department of House and Urban Development (HUD).

Fair Housing Contact Service receives funds from the United States government and different cities and counties to investigate claims of housing discrimination and assist clients in filing administrative complaints.

Become a Fair Housing Tester

Housing investigators, or testers, are community members who undergo training and meet with housing providers to determine their housing practices.

Click here for more information.