The Fair Housing Act protects you from discrimination when you are renting, buying, or securing financing for any housing. You may not be denied housing because of your race, color, religion, national origin, gender, familial status (families with children), and/or disability. These are protected classes. If any of the following has happened to you, you may have been illegally denied your right to Fair Housing because of your class membership:
- You are told a house or apartment is not available when it really is.
- You are denied the right to rent or buy a house or apartment because you have children, or you are told your family is too large.
- A landlord refuses to rent to you because you are physically disabled or refuses to make reasonable changes in the lease to enable you to use and enjoy your home comfortably, such as install a wheelchair ramp or widen doorways.
- Because of your skin color, a bank or other lending institution refuses to lend you money to buy real estate, or the institution changes the requirements for lending you money.
Anyone who has control over residential property must follow the law. This includes rental managers, property owners, real estate agents, landlords, banks, developers, builders, and individual homeowners who are selling or renting their property.
More About Fair Housing:
What is Prohibited?
- False denial of availability: advising someone because of their class membership that there are no available units when, in fact, there are;
- Refusal to deal: refusing to rent, sell – or even negotiate – with a person because of class membership;
- Discriminatory terms and conditions and provision of services or facilities: giving less favorite terms in sales or rental agreements because of class membership;
- Discriminatory advertising: indicating any preference, limitation or discrimination because of class membership;
- Financial discrimination: denying any type of home loan for discriminatory reasons by lenders, including banks, savings and loan associations, insurance companies, and others, or giving less favorite loan terms because of class membership;
- Refusal to permit a reasonable modification to the unit at the expense of the person with a disability, in order that the person may not have full enjoyment of the unit;
- Denial of a reasonable accommodation to the rules and regulations of rental in order that the person with a disability may have equal opportunity to use and fully enjoy their unit.
People with disabilities have the right to use and enjoy their homes comfortably. The Fair Housing Act and the North Carolina Fair Housing Act both prohibit discrimination against individuals who are disabled or who are associated with people with disabilities. If you or someone associated with you has a physical or mental disability, your landlord may not:
- Refuse your request to make reasonable modifications to your home, at your expense, that allow you to fully utilize and enjoy your home. Examples of reasonable modifications include:
- Installing a wheelchair ramp;
- Installing grab bars in the bathroom;
- Widening doorways.
- Refuse your request to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services that allow you to live in a property on an equal basis with people without disabilities. Examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- Allowing a service or therapy animal, despite a no-pet policy;
- Allowing a tenant to have a live-in aide who is not on the lease to assist with daily care.
How to file a complaint:
There are six North Carolina agencies are participating in the Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP).
An individual who believes they have experienced housing discrimination may contact the City’s Human Relations manager or any one of these FHAP agencies or the US Department of Health & Human Services (HUD). The City of Salisbury currently does not have the authority to investigate or enforce violations of the Fair Housing Act, but we can help to guide you in the appropriate direction.