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 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.

It is also illegal for someone to do the following:

  • 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 owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act.
Protection on Handicapped
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 activities
  • 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 disabled person to use the housing. 


If You Think Your Rights Have Been Violated

Fair Housing Services is ready to help with any problem of housing discrimination. If you think your rights have been violated, the Housing Discrimination Complaint Form is available for you to download, complete and return, or complete online and submit, or you may call 972-205-3300. You have one year after an alleged violation to file a complaint with HUD, but you should file it as soon as possible. You may also visit the HUD Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity Office, Fair Housing First, and Dallas Fair Housing Office websites for more information.