Protected Classes & Rights

It is important to understand your basic rights under HUD’s fair housing laws. Fair housing just means that everyone has the legal right to live anywhere they want to live. Fair housing laws apply to both individuals and families whether they are voucher holders or not. There are Federal, state, and local fair housing laws that protect you from discrimination based on the following criteria: 

  • Race 
  • Religion 
  • National Origin 
  • Sex 
  • Age 
  • Disability 
  • Familial Status 
  • Sexual Orientation 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Marital Status 
  • Source of Income 

Fair housing laws do not require an owner to rent to anyone, however, they do require that owners apply the same criteria to all prospective tenants. Owners have the right to screen applicants based on legal guidelines and procedures and screening processes may vary from one owner to the next.  

Under the Fair Housing Act, it is against the law for owners or property managers to: 

  • Refuse to rent or negotiate because of a person’s protected status 
  • Impose different terms or conditions because of a person’s protected status  
  • Make discriminatory statements or publish discriminatory communications  
  • Lie about the availability of a dwelling because of a person’s protected status 
  • Coerce or intimidate an applicant who has filed a fair housing complaint 
  • Guide renters to a particular area based on the racial or ethnic characteristics of residents of the building or neighborhood 

If you believe you are a victim of illegal housing discrimination, you can file a complain with HUD, online, at: