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.
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:
No one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap (disability):
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.
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
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.
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.
In buildings that are ready for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, and have an elevator and four or more units:
If a building with four or more units has no elevator and will be ready for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, these standards apply to ground floor units.
These requirements for new buildings do not replace any more stringent standards in State or local law.
Unless a building or community qualifies as housing for older persons, it may not discriminate based on familial status. That is, it may not discriminate against families in which one or more children under 18 live with:
Familial status protection also applies to pregnant women and anyone securing legal custody of a child under 18.
A transition period permits residents on or before September 13, 1988, to continue living in the housing, regardless of their age, without interfering with the exemption.