Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

Do you know the difference?

Knowing the difference between fair housing and unfair housing isn't as obvious as you might think. This blog aims to present a variety of important and interesting fair housing issues.

If you're an apartment professional, avoid costly mistakes by reading the stories of others who — even with good intentions — learned compliance lessons the hard way. (For the easy way, click here.)

If you live in an apartment, get familiar with your rights when it comes to housing discrimination, as well as your options for seeking justice.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Discrimination Against Unmarried Couples?

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Can a landlord legally discriminate against two prospective tenants because they're not married? Not if they're in Michigan.

Michigan is one of a handful of states that protect against marital status discrimination in housing. According to the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan (FHC), testers posing as unmarried couples inquired over a one-year period about renting from landlords who own 14 condos and eight apartments. But the landlords allegedly told the testers that they would rent the units only to single people or married couples.

The landlords have agreed to pay $60,000 to the FHC to settle the discrimination claims, according to a report from the Associated Press.

If you're wondering whether marital status is protected in your state, check out the Protected Classes Tool at fairhousingresources.com or my article on About.com, entitled "Does Your State Fair Housing Law Have Any Additional Protected Classes?"

2 comments:

Danyell Cohen said...

I was just refused an apartment because I would not agree to break up with a boyfriend who has a history of being abusive. I told the landlord this because he asked why I was moving.

I chose not to lie.

The point of my moving was to leave the situation, but the landlord thought that he would be at risk, even though this boyfriend wants to break up anyway.

The idea that the landlord says "you must break up in order to rent" leaves me feeling helpless because now I may not be able to leave my situation.

Is this housing discrimination?

Danyell Cohen said...

I was just refused an apartment because I would not agree to break up with a boyfriend who has a history of being abusive. I told the landlord this because he asked why I was moving.

I chose not to lie.

The point of my moving was to leave the situation, but the landlord thought that he would be at risk, even though this boyfriend wants to break up anyway.

The idea that the landlord says "you must break up in order to rent" leaves me feeling helpless because now I may not be able to leave my situation.

Is this housing discrimination?