Am I being discriminated against?
Are you worried an eviction is discrimination or that you might be getting evicted for breaking a rule that is actually discrimination against you?
That is illegal!
Under the federal Fair Housing Act landlords cannot discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status and disability. If you feel you’ve been discriminated against on these matters contact an attorney. You can file a complaint by clicking HERE.
“So what counts as disability discrimination?”
It could happen a number of ways, but most commonly affects people with disabilities:
- Not being allowed an assistance animal in a “no pets” building or apartment complex
- Not being allowed transfer to a ground-floor unit if you have a disability that affects your movement
- Not being given an accessible parking space if you have a disability affecting your movement.
- Not being allowed to pay rent on a different day depending on when you receive a check for disability or other income assistance comes in.
“How do I prevent this discrimination?”
What you need to request is a “reasonable accommodation.” This is your official way of telling your landlord they are required under the law to work with you on accommodating your disability.
IT IS ALWAYS BEST TO REQUEST A REASONABLE ACCOMODATION BEFORE A MATTER GOES TO EVICTION OR GOES TO COURT.
Under the law a reasonable accommodation just needs to be communicated to your landlord. Try and e-mail a request so that you can prove that the request was received by your landlord.
You should try as best as you can to make the request in writing. To use a sample form by The Fair Housing Institute click HERE.
“Does this only apply to Section 8 and public housing?”
No discrimination in public AND private housing is against the law. But keep in mind that they call it “reasonable accommodation” for a reason, a request may be denied if it is unreasonable and for example could be considered to cause an excessive “financial” burden on the landlord. Asking for a handrail in a stairwell to be fixed would likely be reasonable, asking for an elevator to be installed might not—depending on the circumstances of the building.
To learn more click HERE.
To file a Fair Housing complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, click HERE.
If you have concerns about housing discrimination you should consider contacting a lawyer. In Utah the Disability Law Center specializes in discrimination based on ability and can provide free consultations.