Fair housing is the right to live in your home free from discrimination.
Your right to fair housing is protected by national, state and local laws. Fair housing laws say landlords cannot deny housing or treat tenants differently based on certain “protected” characteristics. Federal law protects classes such as race, religion, sex, or disability. In Ohio, state law also protects people based on ancestry or military status. Cuyahoga County law protects LGBTQ+ persons. Fair housing ordinances in different cities also prohibit discrimination in housing based upon other factors, including, for example, age or marital status.
Unfortunately, even though these laws exist, housing discrimination does still occur. Examples of unlawful housing discrimination could be:
- A landlord telling parents “We don’t take kids here;”
- A landlord denying housing to anyone with a felony;
- A landlord telling a person of color that the apartments have all been rented when they have not; or
- A landlord telling a person with a disability that they cannot have their service dog live with them because of a “no pets” policy.