Common Signs of Housing Discrimination

Housing discrimination often comes with “a smile and a handshake.” While commonly experienced, discrimination can be subtle, friendly, and often difficult to pin down. If you
have any reason to believe that you have been the victim of housing discrimination, please
call us toll-free at 1-877-979-FAIR to discuss the situation.

Housing discrimination could sound like this:

“Sorry, we just rented the last apartment”
“No disability, we only rent to working people”
“We aren’t set up for children”
“You’ll have to end your maternity leave and return to work before we can process your loan application”
“What religion are you?”
“We don’t accept that breed of dog, even for an emotional support animal”
“A boy and a girl can’t share a bedroom”
“We must have lost your application”
“Married people only”
“You might feel more comfortable in another neighborhood”
“Most of the people who live in this building are ‘professionals’”
“You have to speak English”
“If you go out with me, I’ll lower your rent payment”
“You can’t build a ramp for access to the building—it won’t look good”
“Your credit isn’t good enough”

If you have heard remarks such as these while looking for a place to live, you may have experienced housing discrimination. Call us at 1-877-979-FAIR or email us at

How do you know if you have been the victim of illegal housing discrimination? Housing
discrimination comes in many forms and is often subtle. Some signs of possible discrimination include:

  • A refusal to sell, rent, or show available housing
  • Requiring different terms and conditions for identical dwellings, i.e. charging higher rent, security deposit for different tenants
  • Being told that the dwelling isn’t right for you or your family
  • Being told that housing isn’t available in an apartment with a “For Rent” sign
  • Housing advertisements that say “no kids” or “adults only”
  • A refusal to make a reasonable accommodation or allow a modification to make the dwelling accessible for a person with a disability
  • Harassment or intimidation
  • Offering non‐standard and unfavorable terms in the purchase of a home or property insurance
  • Terms of availability that change between a phone contact and an in‐person visit
  • Being steered to racially segregated neighborhoods during your home search
  • Excessive or inappropriate questioning upon requesting information about a dwelling

Read more
about Fair Housing law or download our Fair Housing: Know Your Rights brochure.