Basic Facts About The Fair Housing Act

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What Housing Is Covered?

The Fair Housing Act covers most housing. In some circumstances, the Act exempts
owner occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or
rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private
clubs that limit occupancy to members.

What is Prohibited?

In the Sale and Rental of Housing: No one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap:• Refuse to rent or sell housing

• Refuse to negotiate for housing
• Make housing unavailable
• Deny a dwelling
• Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
• Provide different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
• Provide different housing services or facilities
• Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
• For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent (blockbusting) or
• Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple
listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing.

In Mortgage Lending: No one may take any of the following actions based on race,
color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap (disability):

• Refuse to make a mortgage loan
• Refuse to provide information regarding loans
• Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates,
points, or fees
• Discriminate in appraising property
• Refuse to purchase a loan or
• Set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan. 

In Addition: It is illegal for anyone to:

• Threaten, coerce, intimidate or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing
right or assisting others who exercise that right.
• Advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on
race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap. This
prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to single-family and owneroccupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act.


Additional Protection If You Have a Disability

If you or someone associated with you:

• Have a physical or mental disability (including hearing, mobility and visual
impairments, chronic alcoholism, chronic mental illness, AIDS, AIDS Related
Complex and mental retardation) that substantially limits one or more major life
• Have a record of such a disability or
• Are regarded as having such a disability

 Your landlord may not:

• Refuse to let you make reasonable modifications to your dwelling or common use
areas, at your expense, if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing.
(Where reasonable, the landlord may permit changes only if you agree to restore
the property to its original condition when you move)
• Refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or
services if necessary for the disable person to use the housing.

 Questions a Landlord may not ask:

• Do you have a disability?
• Tell me about your disability. How severe is it?
• May I have your permission to see your medical records?
• Do you have someone who can vouch for your safety?
• Why do you receive disability benefits?

 But the Landlord may ask you:

• About your ability to pay rent
• If you will obey building rules
• For past references about your history as a tenant
 Example: A building with a “no pets” policy must allow a visually impaired tenant to
keep a guide dog. 

 Example: An apartment complex that offers tenants ample, unassigned parking must
honor a request from a mobility-impaired tenant for a reserved space near her
apartment if necessary to assure that she can have access to her apartment.
 However, housing need not be made available to a person who is a direct threat to the
health or safety of others or who currently uses illegal drugs.


If Your Rights Have Been Violated

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is ready to help with any problem of
housing discrimination. If you think your rights have been violated, you may write a
letter or telephone the HUD office nearest you. You have one year after an alleged
violation to file a complaint with HUD, but you should file it as soon as possible. Or
you can contact the Utah Labor Commission, Utah Antidiscrimination and Labor
Division within 180 days of the alleged discrimination.

 Where to write to Call:
 Fair Housing Enforcement Center
 US Department of Housing and Urban Development
 633 17th Street
 Denver, Colorado 80202-3607
 (303) 672-5437
 TTY (303) 672-5248

 Or you can write or Call:
 Utah Labor Commission
 Utah Antidiscrimination and Labor Division (UALD)
 160 East 300 South
 3rd Floor PO Box 146600
 Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6600
 (801) 530-6800
 Toll free in state (800) 222-1238