Age Discrimination in Rhode Island Apartments

Discrimination based on age is prohibited in Rhode Island. This means that landlords cannot discriminate against the tenant on the basis of age . All ages are covered in Rhode Island. The Fair Housing Act covers discrimination against children and the state’s protection against age discrimination protects anyone 18 and over.

Elderly

Landlords are prohibited from discriminating based on age in Rhode Island and this includes against the elderly. Discrimination is defined broadly and covers building a place that is inaccessible, charging different rent or offering different amenities based on age, advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their age, refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant’s age, denying a loan based on their age, interfering with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of the property based on their age, asking about a tenant’s age, pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain age in the neighborhood, denying an apartment or application based on their age, and refusing to allow the tenant to make to make reasonable modifications to suit their age. R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4 , R.I. Gen. Laws Sec. 34-37-4 .

These protections extend to discrimination of a person’s perceived age. For example, an email may be written in a way that makes a 30-year old seem older and the landlord may have denied their application based on the belief that they are over 60. This would still be discrimination. R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4 , R.I. Gen. Laws Sec. 34-37-4 .

One major exception: Rhode Island allows apartments that are intended for the elderly are permitted to only accept elderly people and be advertised as such. In other words, landlords are free to discriminate based on age or familial status in elderly homes. This is intended to protect the existence of elderly homes and elderly assistance programs. If there is a building with tenants of a mixed age, this exception will most likely not apply and it does not cover other forms of discrimination. R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-3 , R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4 , R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4.1 .

Young Adults

“Age” is not defined under the law and therefore, the anti-discrimination laws presumably apply to all groups. This means that landlords with beliefs that young adults or students are rowdier will genearlly violate the law if they treat them differently. This includes advertising a place as being “student-only housing”, “students preferred”, or “no students allowed.” R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4 , R.I. Gen. Laws Sec. 34-37-4 .

One major exception in Rhode Island is that landlords are permitted to ask whether a tenant is over 18. This helps the landlord determine whether the lease with the tenant will be legally enforceable. R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-3 , R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4 , R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4.1 .

Discrimination is defined extremely broadly and also includes denying an apartment or application based on their age, building a place that is inaccessible, advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their age, charging different rent or offering different amenities based on age, pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain age in the neighborhood, denying a loan based on their age, refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant’s age, interfering with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of the property based on their age, and refusing to allow the tenant to make to make reasonable modifications to suit their age.

Children

Landlords cannot treat children or families with children differently. It’s prohibited by federal law under the Fair Housing Act as discrimination based on “familial status”. This includes denying housing, advertising a unit as “no children allowed”, charging different rent, placing families in certain parts of the building, and denying access to facilities or amenities. This includes prohibiting children from using facilities, such as laundry rooms or pools. R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4 , R.I. Gen. Laws Sec. 34-37-4 .

Children are also protected by this state’s own fair housing law, which offers similar protections. This gives tenants the opportunity to report the issue to state or local authorities, in addition to federal authorities. Rhode Island law expands the protections to situations where the tenant is discriminated against because of the mistaken belief that they are a child. So if, for example, a landlord denies housing to someone because they thought they were under 18 but in actuality, they were not, that would be illegal under state law. Tenants should report such issues to state authorities. These protections apply even the person is not actually a child, but the landlord acted in a discriminatory way based on a belief that they are under 18. R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4 , R.I. Gen. Laws Sec. 34-37-4 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

Rhode Island has an exception called the “Murphy Rule”, which is intended to allow landlords to rent out extra rooms in their home without a large compliance burden. If the apartment is in the landlord’s own residence, then the landlord is free to discriminate regarding whom they rent to. This exception only applies to smaller homes, specifically where the house or building has four or fewer apartment units.

This exemption does not typically apply to advertising (e.g., “Only accepting white tenants”) or where the landlord uses a professional property manager or other real estate professional. Some states may have additional see restrictions. See state law for more details.

R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-3 , R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4 , R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4.1 .

Enforcement

The consequences are different based on whether the discrimination is against children or adults.

If the discrimination was against children or familial status, the tenant has a choice of whether to report the problem to Rhode Island authorities or federal authorities (or both). It’s generally best for tenants to notify both authorities where possible, but they will most likely get a faster response from the state.

If the issue involves discrimination against adults , then the victim must report it to Rhode Island authorities because there is no federal protection for age discrimination.

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the federal government? The most recent year we have data is from 2016. In 2016, HUD addressed 63.4% (70.0% from Rhode Island) of discrimination cases resolved in the year they were filed. 7 out of the 70 discrimination complaints from Rhode Island concerned discrimination against children or familial status (age discrimination is not otherwise enforced by the federal government). Landlords that violate the federal Fair Housing Act can face civil penalties up to $16,000 for a first violation and $65,000 for future violations (each act of discrimination is a separate violation). In cases where the Justice Department is involved, civil penalties may rise to $100,000 per violation and federal courts can add additional damages. Landlords should also keep in mind the time and costs involved in defending against an action by the federal government. About 36% of complaints end up with a charge or settlement, based on 2016 data. Data.gov

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the authorities of Rhode Island or a local government? They may ask the tenant for information to help bring the case, including any evidence (e.g., emails and pictures). If the government finds there’s sufficient information between the tenant’s complaint (as well as complaints from other tenants), the landlord may be charged and taken to court to defend themselves. Landlords will likely receive fines if they lose. The amount of the fines will be determined in part by the severity of the issue. Fines increase significantly for repeat offenders. R.I. Gen. Laws Sec. 34-37-5 . R.I. Gen. Laws Sec. 34-37-5 .

Reporting a Violation

Tenants may report violations of federal laws (i.e., discrimination against children and families) through the HUD website – it can be done online or via phone. Tenants can report issues to their state government by looking at the state website. A google search for “report fair housing violation in Rhode Island” will likely provide applicable information. In either case, tenants may be able to call the number on the page to ask whether their situation legally qualifies as rental discrimination.

Retaliation by the Landlord

Federal law (the https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaintFair Housing Act ) makes it illegal for landlords to harass a tenant in retaliation for reporting a problem. Examples of such harassment may include raising the rent or threatening to evict the tenant. Each such attempt is an additional violation. These protections do not apply if the tenant complained about something that they don’t have right to, so tenants should know whether it’s a violation. 16 such cases were filed with the federal government from in last year we have data (2016). Data.gov. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.

Age Discrimination in South Carolina Apartments

South Carolina does not directly prohibit landlords from discriminating against tenants based on their age. However, landlords should be careful to avoid discriminating against children and families (whom are protected under federal and state law). Additionally, discriminating against a senior because of their disability is prohibited under federal and state fair housing law which protects those with mental and physical health conditions.

Segregating by Age

A typical technique by landlords to minimize conflict between tenants is to group sections of buildings or advertise units for certain ages. For example, a landlord may advertise a trendy and loud neighborhood to younger tenants. A landlord might list a home in a quiet neighborhood is best for the elderly. South Carolina landlords are free to advertise units as ideal for certain age groups and to deny housing to people who do not fit those criteria since there is no law prohibiting discrimination by age.

Elderly

South Carolina has no direct protections against landlords discriminating against the elderly. This means, for the most part, landlords are free to put (and advertise) age restrictions on buildings, to separate the elderly from other tenants, and to charge the elderly more for rent or other services.

However, South Carolina has a related law that may protect the elderly. The state protects tenants from discrimination against perceived mental or physical health conditions. This likely covers situations where a landlord discriminates against the elderly because they believe they are more likely to have disabilities or special needs.

Young Adults

In South Carolina, young adults and college students are not protected from discrimination by landlords based on their age. This allows landlords to charge higher rent to students (or inversely, lower rent to older tenants), to prohibit students from renting, to advertise units as being unavailable to students, or to otherwise treat students as a high-risk tenant.

Children and Families

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against children, families, and pregnant women in South Carolina (and all US states). Due to this anti-discrimination law, South Carolina landlords cannot designate an apartment as being suitable for children, charge different rents or prices to families, advertise that there’s a preference for tenants without children, or prevent children from accessing the same amenities and facilities as adults (e.g., a sign that says, “no children in the laundry area”).

Enforcement

The consequences are different based on whether the discrimination is against children or adults.

If the discrimination was against children or familial status, the tenant has a choice of whether to report the problem to South Carolina authorities or federal authorities (or both). It’s generally best for tenants to notify both authorities where possible, but they will most likely get a faster response from the state.

Apart from cases involving children, South Carolina does not protect directly protect discrimination based on a tenant’s age and neither does the federal government. Therefore, adults and the elderly have no remedy in South Carolina when landlords treat them differently due to their age.

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the federal government? The most recent year we have data is from 2016. In 2016, HUD addressed 63.4% (78.1% from South Carolina) of discrimination cases resolved in the year they were filed. 4 out of the 96 discrimination complaints from South Carolina concerned discrimination against children or familial status (age discrimination is not otherwise enforced by the federal government). Landlords that violate the federal Fair Housing Act can face civil penalties up to $16,000 for a first violation and $65,000 for future violations (each act of discrimination is a separate violation). In cases where the Justice Department is involved, civil penalties may rise to $100,000 per violation and federal courts can add additional damages. Landlords should also keep in mind the time and costs involved in defending against an action by the federal government. About 36% of complaints end up with a charge or settlement, based on 2016 data. Data.gov

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the authorities of South Carolina or a local government? They may ask the tenant for information to help bring the case, including any evidence (e.g., emails and pictures). If the government finds there’s sufficient information between the tenant’s complaint (as well as complaints from other tenants), the landlord may be charged and taken to court to defend themselves. South Carolina law does not describe the penalties for violations of the fair housing rules. This means a judge decides consequences on a case-by-case basis. .

Reporting a Violation

Tenants may report violations of federal laws (i.e., discrimination against children and families) through the HUD website – it can be done online or via phone. Tenants can report issues to their state government by looking at the state website. A google search for “report fair housing violation in South Carolina” will likely provide applicable information. In either case, tenants may be able to call the number on the page to ask whether their situation legally qualifies as rental discrimination.

Retaliation by the Landlord

Federal law (the https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaintFair Housing Act ) makes it illegal for landlords to harass a tenant in retaliation for reporting a problem. Examples of such harassment may include raising the rent or threatening to evict the tenant. Each such attempt is an additional violation. These protections do not apply if the tenant complained about something that they don’t have right to, so tenants should know whether it’s a violation. 18 such cases were filed with the federal government from in last year we have data (2016). Data.gov. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.

Discrimination of Families, Pregnant Women, and Children in Rhode Island Apartments

It is illegal in Rhode Island (and federally) for landlords to discriminate against tenants based on their having children, being pregnant, or otherwise their familial status. Children must be provided equal access to all facilities and services offered to adults. In addition, tenants are protected from discrimination based on their marital status.

Family Restrictions

Most types of restrictions on families with children violate Rhode Island and federal law. For example, charging tenants with children higher rent or a higher deposit, advertising an apartment as being only for families (or not for families), putting an age limit for children, and placing all families in one part of the building are all illegal. R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4 , R.I. Gen. Laws Sec. 34-37-4 .

Rights of Children

Landlords that treat children and adults differently are violating the law that prohibits landlords from discriminating against a tenant’s familial status. Thus, prohibiting children from playing in the laundry room, using the pool, or putting up signs that children can’t skateboard violates the law. Apartment policies must apply equally to adults and children. R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4 , R.I. Gen. Laws Sec. 34-37-4 .

Pregnancy

Discriminating against pregnant tenants is illegal. For example, it’s illegal to denying an apartment application because someone is pregnant, charging higher rent or deposits to a pregnant tenant, or deliberately placing a pregnant tenant in a certain part of a building so other tenants aren’t disturbed by the noise of babies. R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4 , R.I. Gen. Laws Sec. 34-37-4 .

Marital Status

Rhode Island additionally prohibits discrimination based on one’s marital status. Landlords cannot offer lowered rent to married tenants, only accept married couples, or only accept single tenants. R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4 , R.I. Gen. Laws Sec. 34-37-4 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

Rhode Island has an exception called the “Murphy Rule”, which is intended to allow landlords to rent out extra rooms in their home without a large compliance burden. If the apartment is in the landlord’s own residence, then the landlord is free to discriminate regarding whom they rent to. This exception only applies to smaller homes, specifically where the house or building has four or fewer apartment units.

This exemption does not typically apply to advertising (e.g., “Only accepting white tenants”) or where the landlord uses a professional property manager or other real estate professional. Some states may have additional see restrictions. See state law for more details.

R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-3 , R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4 , R.I. Gen. Laws 34-37-4.1 .

Enforcement

Tenants may report discrimination regarding familial status, children, or pregnancy to the federal government directly. They also have the option in Rhode Island to report it to state authorities. Tenants may choose to report the problem to both.

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the federal government? The most recent year we have data is from 2016. In 2016, 63.4% (70.0% from Rhode Island) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 7 out of the 70 discrimination complaints from Rhode Island were about discrimination against children, familial status, or pregnancy. Landlords that violate the federal Fair Housing Act can face civil penalties up to $16,000 for a first violation and $65,000 for future violations (each act of discrimination is a separate violation). In cases where the Justice Department is involved, civil penalties may rise to $100,000 per violation and federal courts can add additional damages. Landlords should also keep in mind the time and costs involved in defending against an action by the federal government. About 36% of complaints end up with a charge or settlement, based on 2016 data. Data.gov

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the authorities of Rhode Island or a local government? They may ask the tenant for information to help bring the case, including any evidence (e.g., emails and pictures). If the government finds there’s sufficient information between the tenant’s complaint (as well as complaints from other tenants), the landlord may be charged and taken to court to defend themselves. Landlords will likely receive fines if they lose. The amount of the fines will be determined in part by the severity of the issue. Fines increase significantly for repeat offenders. R.I. Gen. Laws Sec. 34-37-5 . R.I. Gen. Laws Sec. 34-37-5 .

Reporting a Violation

Tenants may report violations of federal laws (i.e., discrimination against children and families) through the HUD website – it can be done online or via phone. Tenants can report issues to their state government by looking at the state website. A google search for “report fair housing violation in Rhode Island” will likely provide applicable information. In either case, tenants may be able to call the number on the page to ask whether their situation legally qualifies as rental discrimination.

Retaliation by the Landlord

Federal law (the https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaintFair Housing Act ) makes it illegal for landlords to harass a tenant in retaliation for reporting a problem. Examples of such harassment may include raising the rent or threatening to evict the tenant. Each such attempt is an additional violation. These protections do not apply if the tenant complained about something that they don’t have right to, so tenants should know whether it’s a violation. 16 such cases were filed with the federal government from in last year we have data (2016). Data.gov. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.

Discrimination of Families, Pregnant Women, and Children in South Carolina Apartments

It is illegal in South Carolina (and federally) for landlords to discriminate against tenants based on their having children, being pregnant, or otherwise their familial status. Children must be provided equal access to all facilities and services offered to adults.

Family Restrictions

Most types of restrictions on families with children violate South Carolina and federal law. For example, charging tenants with children higher rent or a higher deposit, advertising an apartment as being only for families (or not for families), putting an age limit for children, and placing all families in one part of the building are all illegal. S.C. Code 31-21-70 , S.C. Code Sec. 31-21-40 .

Rights of Children

Landlords that treat children and adults differently are violating the law that prohibits landlords from discriminating against a tenant’s familial status. Thus, prohibiting children from playing in the laundry room, using the pool, or putting up signs that children can’t skateboard violates the law. Apartment policies must apply equally to adults and children. S.C. Code 31-21-70 , S.C. Code Sec. 31-21-40 .

Pregnancy

Discriminating against pregnant tenants is illegal. For example, it’s illegal to denying an apartment application because someone is pregnant, charging higher rent or deposits to a pregnant tenant, or deliberately placing a pregnant tenant in a certain part of a building so other tenants aren’t disturbed by the noise of babies. S.C. Code 31-21-70 , S.C. Code Sec. 31-21-40 .

Exemptions for Second Homes

South Carolina includes an exception intended for landlords who are renting out their second homes. The law is intended to reduce the compliance burden for such non-professional landlords. Specifically, landlords who rent fewer than 4 single-family houses do not have to abide by most of the discrimination laws.

Such exemptions do not typically apply to discriminatory advertising (e.g., “Only accepting tenants over 40”) or where the landlord uses a professional property manager.

S.C. Code 31-21-70 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

South Carolina has an exception called the “Murphy Rule”, which is intended to allow landlords to rent out extra rooms in their home without a large compliance burden. If the apartment is in the landlord’s own residence, then the landlord is free to discriminate regarding whom they rent to. This exception only applies to smaller homes, specifically where the house or building has four or fewer apartment units.

This exemption does not typically apply to advertising (e.g., “Only accepting white tenants”) or where the landlord uses a professional property manager or other real estate professional. Some states may have additional see restrictions. See state law for more details.

S.C. Code 31-21-70 .

Enforcement

Tenants may report discrimination regarding familial status, children, or pregnancy to the federal government directly. They also have the option in South Carolina to report it to state authorities. Tenants may choose to report the problem to both.

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the federal government? The most recent year we have data is from 2016. In 2016, 63.4% (78.1% from South Carolina) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 4 out of the 96 discrimination complaints from South Carolina were about discrimination against children, familial status, or pregnancy. Landlords that violate the federal Fair Housing Act can face civil penalties up to $16,000 for a first violation and $65,000 for future violations (each act of discrimination is a separate violation). In cases where the Justice Department is involved, civil penalties may rise to $100,000 per violation and federal courts can add additional damages. Landlords should also keep in mind the time and costs involved in defending against an action by the federal government. About 36% of complaints end up with a charge or settlement, based on 2016 data. Data.gov

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the authorities of South Carolina or a local government? They may ask the tenant for information to help bring the case, including any evidence (e.g., emails and pictures). If the government finds there’s sufficient information between the tenant’s complaint (as well as complaints from other tenants), the landlord may be charged and taken to court to defend themselves. South Carolina law does not describe the penalties for violations of the fair housing rules. This means a judge decides consequences on a case-by-case basis. .

Reporting a Violation

Tenants may report violations of federal laws (i.e., discrimination against children and families) through the HUD website – it can be done online or via phone. Tenants can report issues to their state government by looking at the state website. A google search for “report fair housing violation in South Carolina” will likely provide applicable information. In either case, tenants may be able to call the number on the page to ask whether their situation legally qualifies as rental discrimination.

Retaliation by the Landlord

Federal law (the https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaintFair Housing Act ) makes it illegal for landlords to harass a tenant in retaliation for reporting a problem. Examples of such harassment may include raising the rent or threatening to evict the tenant. Each such attempt is an additional violation. These protections do not apply if the tenant complained about something that they don’t have right to, so tenants should know whether it’s a violation. 18 such cases were filed with the federal government from in last year we have data (2016). Data.gov. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.

Age Discrimination in Oklahoma Apartments

Discrimination based on age is prohibited in Oklahoma. This means that landlords cannot discriminate against the tenant on the basis of age . All ages are covered in Oklahoma. The Fair Housing Act covers discrimination against children and the state’s protection against age discrimination protects anyone 18 and over.

Elderly

Landlords are prohibited from discriminating based on age in Oklahoma and this includes against the elderly. Discrimination is defined broadly and covers interfering with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of the property based on their age, falsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant’s age, advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their age, restrictive covenants based on age, discouraging tenants by renting by saying people of a certain age live in the neighborhood, advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their age, denying an apartment or application based on their age, denying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their age, charging different rent or offering different amenities based on age, and refusing to allow the tenant to make to make reasonable modifications to suit their age. Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1452 .

These protections extend to discrimination of a person’s perceived age. For example, an email may be written in a way that makes a 30-year old seem older and the landlord may have denied their application based on the belief that they are over 60. This would still be discrimination. Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1452 .

One major exception: Oklahoma allows apartments that are intended for the elderly are permitted to only accept elderly people and be advertised as such. In other words, landlords are free to discriminate based on age or familial status in elderly homes. This is intended to protect the existence of elderly homes and elderly assistance programs. If there is a building with tenants of a mixed age, this exception will most likely not apply and it does not cover other forms of discrimination. Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1452 , Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1453 .

Young Adults

“Age” is not defined under the law and therefore, the anti-discrimination laws presumably apply to all groups. This means that landlords with beliefs that young adults or students are rowdier will genearlly violate the law if they treat them differently. This includes advertising a place as being “student-only housing”, “students preferred”, or “no students allowed.” Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1452 .

Discrimination is defined extremely broadly and also includes charging different rent or offering different amenities based on age, falsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant’s age, restrictive covenants based on age, refusing to allow the tenant to make to make reasonable modifications to suit their age, interfering with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of the property based on their age, advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their age, denying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their age, discouraging tenants by renting by saying people of a certain age live in the neighborhood, denying an apartment or application based on their age, and advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their age.

Children

Landlords cannot treat children or families with children differently. It’s prohibited by federal law under the Fair Housing Act as discrimination based on “familial status”. This includes denying housing, advertising a unit as “no children allowed”, charging different rent, placing families in certain parts of the building, and denying access to facilities or amenities. This includes prohibiting children from using facilities, such as laundry rooms or pools. Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1452 .

Children are also protected by this state’s own fair housing law, which offers similar protections. This gives tenants the opportunity to report the issue to state or local authorities, in addition to federal authorities. Oklahoma law expands the protections to situations where the tenant is discriminated against because of the mistaken belief that they are a child. So if, for example, a landlord denies housing to someone because they thought they were under 18 but in actuality, they were not, that would be illegal under state law. Tenants should report such issues to state authorities. These protections apply even the person is not actually a child, but the landlord acted in a discriminatory way based on a belief that they are under 18. Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1452 .

Exemptions for Second Homes

Oklahoma includes an exception intended for landlords who are renting out their second homes. The law is intended to reduce the compliance burden for such non-professional landlords. Specifically, landlords who rent fewer than 4 single-family houses do not have to abide by most of the discrimination laws.

Such exemptions do not typically apply to discriminatory advertising (e.g., “Only accepting tenants over 40”) or where the landlord uses a professional property manager.

Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1452 , Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1453 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

Oklahoma has an exception called the “Murphy Rule”, which is intended to allow landlords to rent out extra rooms in their home without a large compliance burden. If the apartment is in the landlord’s own residence, then the landlord is free to discriminate regarding whom they rent to. This exception only applies to smaller homes, specifically where the house or building has four or fewer apartment units.

This exemption does not typically apply to advertising (e.g., “Only accepting white tenants”) or where the landlord uses a professional property manager or other real estate professional. Some states may have additional see restrictions. See state law for more details.

Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1452 , Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1453 .

Enforcement

The consequences are different based on whether the discrimination is against children or adults.

If the discrimination was against children or familial status, the tenant has a choice of whether to report the problem to Oklahoma authorities or federal authorities (or both). It’s generally best for tenants to notify both authorities where possible, but they will most likely get a faster response from the state.

If the issue involves discrimination against adults , then the victim must report it to Oklahoma authorities because there is no federal protection for age discrimination.

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the federal government? The most recent year we have data is from 2016. In 2016, HUD addressed 63.4% (60.6% from Oklahoma) of discrimination cases resolved in the year they were filed. 2 out of the 99 discrimination complaints from Oklahoma concerned discrimination against children or familial status (age discrimination is not otherwise enforced by the federal government). Landlords that violate the federal Fair Housing Act can face civil penalties up to $16,000 for a first violation and $65,000 for future violations (each act of discrimination is a separate violation). In cases where the Justice Department is involved, civil penalties may rise to $100,000 per violation and federal courts can add additional damages. Landlords should also keep in mind the time and costs involved in defending against an action by the federal government. About 36% of complaints end up with a charge or settlement, based on 2016 data. Data.gov

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the authorities of Oklahoma or a local government? They may ask the tenant for information to help bring the case, including any evidence (e.g., emails and pictures). If the government finds there’s sufficient information between the tenant’s complaint (as well as complaints from other tenants), the landlord may be charged and taken to court to defend themselves. Landlords will likely receive fines if they lose. The amount of the fines will be determined in part by the severity of the issue. Fines increase significantly for repeat offenders. Okla. Stat. tit. 25, Sec. 1506.6 . In addition, landlords may receive a misdemeanor criminal charge in certain cases, especially for severe cases or repeat offenders. This may result in some jail time. Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1506.9 , Okla. Stat. tit. 25, Sec. 1506.6 .

Reporting a Violation

Tenants may report violations of federal laws (i.e., discrimination against children and families) through the HUD website – it can be done online or via phone. Tenants can report issues to their state government by looking at the state website. A google search for “report fair housing violation in Oklahoma” will likely provide applicable information. In either case, tenants may be able to call the number on the page to ask whether their situation legally qualifies as rental discrimination.

Retaliation by the Landlord

Federal law (the https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaintFair Housing Act ) makes it illegal for landlords to harass a tenant in retaliation for reporting a problem. Examples of such harassment may include raising the rent or threatening to evict the tenant. Each such attempt is an additional violation. These protections do not apply if the tenant complained about something that they don’t have right to, so tenants should know whether it’s a violation. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.

Age Discrimination in Oregon Apartments

Oregon does not directly prohibit landlords from discriminating against tenants based on their age. However, landlords should be careful to avoid discriminating against children and families (whom are protected under federal and state law). Additionally, discriminating against a senior because of their disability is prohibited under federal and state fair housing law which protects those with mental and physical health conditions.

Segregating by Age

A typical technique by landlords to minimize conflict between tenants is to group sections of buildings or advertise units for certain ages. For example, a landlord may advertise a trendy and loud neighborhood to younger tenants. A landlord might list a home in a quiet neighborhood is best for the elderly. Oregon landlords are free to advertise units as ideal for certain age groups and to deny housing to people who do not fit those criteria since there is no law prohibiting discrimination by age.

Elderly

Oregon has no direct protections against landlords discriminating against the elderly. This means, for the most part, landlords are free to put (and advertise) age restrictions on buildings, to separate the elderly from other tenants, and to charge the elderly more for rent or other services.

However, Oregon has a related law that may protect the elderly. The state protects tenants from discrimination against perceived mental or physical health conditions. This likely covers situations where a landlord discriminates against the elderly because they believe they are more likely to have disabilities or special needs.

Young Adults

In Oregon, young adults and college students are not protected from discrimination by landlords based on their age. This allows landlords to charge higher rent to students (or inversely, lower rent to older tenants), to prohibit students from renting, to advertise units as being unavailable to students, or to otherwise treat students as a high-risk tenant.

Children and Families

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against children, families, and pregnant women in Oregon (and all US states). Due to this anti-discrimination law, Oregon landlords cannot designate an apartment as being suitable for children, charge different rents or prices to families, advertise that there’s a preference for tenants without children, or prevent children from accessing the same amenities and facilities as adults (e.g., a sign that says, “no children in the laundry area”).

Enforcement

The consequences are different based on whether the discrimination is against children or adults.

If the discrimination was against children or familial status, the tenant has a choice of whether to report the problem to Oregon authorities or federal authorities (or both). It’s generally best for tenants to notify both authorities where possible, but they will most likely get a faster response from the state.

Apart from cases involving children, Oregon does not protect directly protect discrimination based on a tenant’s age and neither does the federal government. Therefore, adults and the elderly have no remedy in Oregon when landlords treat them differently due to their age.

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the federal government? The most recent year we have data is from 2016. In 2016, HUD addressed 63.4% (65.3% from Oregon) of discrimination cases resolved in the year they were filed. 5 out of the 49 discrimination complaints from Oregon concerned discrimination against children or familial status (age discrimination is not otherwise enforced by the federal government). Landlords that violate the federal Fair Housing Act can face civil penalties up to $16,000 for a first violation and $65,000 for future violations (each act of discrimination is a separate violation). In cases where the Justice Department is involved, civil penalties may rise to $100,000 per violation and federal courts can add additional damages. Landlords should also keep in mind the time and costs involved in defending against an action by the federal government. About 36% of complaints end up with a charge or settlement, based on 2016 data. Data.gov

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the authorities of Oregon or a local government? They may ask the tenant for information to help bring the case, including any evidence (e.g., emails and pictures). If the government finds there’s sufficient information between the tenant’s complaint (as well as complaints from other tenants), the landlord may be charged and taken to court to defend themselves. Landlords will likely receive fines if they lose. The amount of the fines will be determined in part by the severity of the issue. Fines increase significantly for repeat offenders. Or. Rev. Stat. Sec. 659 .

Reporting a Violation

Tenants may report violations of federal laws (i.e., discrimination against children and families) through the HUD website – it can be done online or via phone. Tenants can report issues to their state government by looking at the state website. A google search for “report fair housing violation in Oregon” will likely provide applicable information. In either case, tenants may be able to call the number on the page to ask whether their situation legally qualifies as rental discrimination.

Retaliation by the Landlord

Federal law (the https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaintFair Housing Act ) makes it illegal for landlords to harass a tenant in retaliation for reporting a problem. Examples of such harassment may include raising the rent or threatening to evict the tenant. Each such attempt is an additional violation. These protections do not apply if the tenant complained about something that they don’t have right to, so tenants should know whether it’s a violation. 10 such cases were filed with the federal government from in last year we have data (2016). Data.gov. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.

Age Discrimination in Pennsylvania Apartments

Discrimination based on age is prohibited in Pennsylvania. This means that landlords cannot discriminate against the tenant on the basis of age . This covers anyone defined as someone 40 and over in Pennsylvania. Additionally, children and families are also protected from discrimination.

Elderly

Landlords are prohibited from discriminating against people older than 40 in Pennsylvania. Discrimination is defined broadly and covers retaliating (e.g., raising the rent, evicting, cutting off services, or harassing a tenant) against a tenant for reporting a problem, refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant’s age, interfering with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of the property based on their age, denying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their age, pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain age in the neighborhood, charging different rent or offering different amenities based on age, advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their age, falsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant’s age, asking about a tenant’s age, refusing to allow the tenant to make to make reasonable modifications to suit their age, denying a loan based on their age, building a place that is inaccessible, evicting a tenant based on their age, discouraging tenants by renting by saying people of a certain age live in the neighborhood, and denying an apartment or application based on their age. 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. , 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 955.3 .

These protections extend to discrimination of a person’s perceived age. Thus, if a landlord believed a person was over 40 but they are not, it would still be discriminatory to treat them differently. For example, an email may be written in a way that makes a 30-year old seem older and the landlord may have denied their application based on the belief that they are over 60. This would still be discrimination. 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. , 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 955.3 .

One major exception: Pennsylvania allows apartments that are intended for the elderly are permitted to only accept elderly people and be advertised as such. In other words, landlords are free to discriminate based on age or familial status in elderly homes. This is intended to protect the existence of elderly homes and elderly assistance programs. If there is a building with tenants of a mixed age, this exception will most likely not apply and it does not cover other forms of discrimination. 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. .

Young Adults

discrimination based on age only covers people 40 and over in Pennsylvania. Therefore, young adults and college students are not covered. Landlords are free to deny housing, charge higher rent, provide different amenities, or otherwise treat adults between 18 and 40 less favorably than other age groups.

Children

Landlords cannot treat children or families with children differently. It’s prohibited by federal law under the Fair Housing Act as discrimination based on “familial status”. This includes denying housing, advertising a unit as “no children allowed”, charging different rent, placing families in certain parts of the building, and denying access to facilities or amenities. This includes prohibiting children from using facilities, such as laundry rooms or pools. 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. , 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 955.3 .

Children are also protected by this state’s own fair housing law, which offers similar protections. This gives tenants the opportunity to report the issue to state or local authorities, in addition to federal authorities. Pennsylvania law expands the protections to situations where the tenant is discriminated against because of the mistaken belief that they are a child. So if, for example, a landlord denies housing to someone because they thought they were under 18 but in actuality, they were not, that would be illegal under state law. Tenants should report such issues to state authorities. These protections apply even the person is not actually a child, but the landlord acted in a discriminatory way based on a belief that they are under 18. 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. , 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 955.3 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

Pennsylvania has an exception called the “Murphy Rule”, which is intended to allow landlords to rent out extra rooms in their home without a large compliance burden. If the apartment is in the landlord’s own residence, then the landlord is free to discriminate regarding whom they rent to. This exception only applies to smaller homes, specifically where the house or building has four or fewer apartment units.

This exemption does not typically apply to advertising (e.g., “Only accepting white tenants”) or where the landlord uses a professional property manager or other real estate professional. Some states may have additional see restrictions. See state law for more details.

43 Pa. Cons. Stat. .

Enforcement

The consequences are different based on whether the discrimination is against children or adults.

If the discrimination was against children or familial status, the tenant has a choice of whether to report the problem to Pennsylvania authorities or federal authorities (or both). It’s generally best for tenants to notify both authorities where possible, but they will most likely get a faster response from the state.

If the issue involves discrimination against someone over 40 , then the victim must report it to Pennsylvania authorities because there is no federal protection for age discrimination.

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the federal government? The most recent year we have data is from 2016. In 2016, HUD addressed 63.4% (53.1% from Pennsylvania) of discrimination cases resolved in the year they were filed. 12 out of the 179 discrimination complaints from Pennsylvania concerned discrimination against children or familial status (age discrimination is not otherwise enforced by the federal government). Landlords that violate the federal Fair Housing Act can face civil penalties up to $16,000 for a first violation and $65,000 for future violations (each act of discrimination is a separate violation). In cases where the Justice Department is involved, civil penalties may rise to $100,000 per violation and federal courts can add additional damages. Landlords should also keep in mind the time and costs involved in defending against an action by the federal government. About 36% of complaints end up with a charge or settlement, based on 2016 data. Data.gov

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the authorities of Pennsylvania or a local government? They may ask the tenant for information to help bring the case, including any evidence (e.g., emails and pictures). If the government finds there’s sufficient information between the tenant’s complaint (as well as complaints from other tenants), the landlord may be charged and taken to court to defend themselves. Landlords will likely receive fines if they lose. The amount of the fines will be determined in part by the severity of the issue. Fines increase significantly for repeat offenders. In addition, landlords may serve prison time for severe cases, as Pennsylvania considers discriminatory practices a criminal act in some cases. It can be a misdemeanor or a felony. 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 959.3 .

Reporting a Violation

Tenants may report violations of federal laws (i.e., discrimination against children and families) through the HUD website – it can be done online or via phone. Tenants can report issues to their state government by looking at the state website. A google search for “report fair housing violation in Pennsylvania” will likely provide applicable information. In either case, tenants may be able to call the number on the page to ask whether their situation legally qualifies as rental discrimination.

Retaliation by the Landlord

Federal law (the https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaintFair Housing Act ) makes it illegal for landlords to harass a tenant in retaliation for reporting a problem. Examples of such harassment may include raising the rent or threatening to evict the tenant. Each such attempt is an additional violation. These protections do not apply if the tenant complained about something that they don’t have right to, so tenants should know whether it’s a violation. 35 such cases were filed with the federal government from in last year we have data (2016). Data.gov. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.

Discrimination of Families, Pregnant Women, and Children in Oklahoma Apartments

It is illegal in Oklahoma (and federally) for landlords to discriminate against tenants based on their having children, being pregnant, or otherwise their familial status. Children must be provided equal access to all facilities and services offered to adults.

Family Restrictions

Most types of restrictions on families with children violate Oklahoma and federal law. For example, charging tenants with children higher rent or a higher deposit, advertising an apartment as being only for families (or not for families), putting an age limit for children, and placing all families in one part of the building are all illegal. Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1452 .

Rights of Children

Landlords that treat children and adults differently are violating the law that prohibits landlords from discriminating against a tenant’s familial status. Thus, prohibiting children from playing in the laundry room, using the pool, or putting up signs that children can’t skateboard violates the law. Apartment policies must apply equally to adults and children. Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1452 .

Pregnancy

Discriminating against pregnant tenants is illegal. For example, it’s illegal to denying an apartment application because someone is pregnant, charging higher rent or deposits to a pregnant tenant, or deliberately placing a pregnant tenant in a certain part of a building so other tenants aren’t disturbed by the noise of babies. Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1452 .

Exemptions for Second Homes

Oklahoma includes an exception intended for landlords who are renting out their second homes. The law is intended to reduce the compliance burden for such non-professional landlords. Specifically, landlords who rent fewer than 4 single-family houses do not have to abide by most of the discrimination laws.

Such exemptions do not typically apply to discriminatory advertising (e.g., “Only accepting tenants over 40”) or where the landlord uses a professional property manager.

Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1452 , Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1453 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

Oklahoma has an exception called the “Murphy Rule”, which is intended to allow landlords to rent out extra rooms in their home without a large compliance burden. If the apartment is in the landlord’s own residence, then the landlord is free to discriminate regarding whom they rent to. This exception only applies to smaller homes, specifically where the house or building has four or fewer apartment units.

This exemption does not typically apply to advertising (e.g., “Only accepting white tenants”) or where the landlord uses a professional property manager or other real estate professional. Some states may have additional see restrictions. See state law for more details.

Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1452 , Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1453 .

Enforcement

Tenants may report discrimination regarding familial status, children, or pregnancy to the federal government directly. They also have the option in Oklahoma to report it to state authorities. Tenants may choose to report the problem to both.

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the federal government? The most recent year we have data is from 2016. In 2016, 63.4% (60.6% from Oklahoma) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 2 out of the 99 discrimination complaints from Oklahoma were about discrimination against children, familial status, or pregnancy. Landlords that violate the federal Fair Housing Act can face civil penalties up to $16,000 for a first violation and $65,000 for future violations (each act of discrimination is a separate violation). In cases where the Justice Department is involved, civil penalties may rise to $100,000 per violation and federal courts can add additional damages. Landlords should also keep in mind the time and costs involved in defending against an action by the federal government. About 36% of complaints end up with a charge or settlement, based on 2016 data. Data.gov

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the authorities of Oklahoma or a local government? They may ask the tenant for information to help bring the case, including any evidence (e.g., emails and pictures). If the government finds there’s sufficient information between the tenant’s complaint (as well as complaints from other tenants), the landlord may be charged and taken to court to defend themselves. Landlords will likely receive fines if they lose. The amount of the fines will be determined in part by the severity of the issue. Fines increase significantly for repeat offenders. Okla. Stat. tit. 25, Sec. 1506.6 . In addition, landlords may receive a misdemeanor criminal charge in certain cases, especially for severe cases or repeat offenders. This may result in some jail time. Okla. Stat. tit. 25, 1506.9 , Okla. Stat. tit. 25, Sec. 1506.6 .

Reporting a Violation

Tenants may report violations of federal laws (i.e., discrimination against children and families) through the HUD website – it can be done online or via phone. Tenants can report issues to their state government by looking at the state website. A google search for “report fair housing violation in Oklahoma” will likely provide applicable information. In either case, tenants may be able to call the number on the page to ask whether their situation legally qualifies as rental discrimination.

Retaliation by the Landlord

Federal law (the https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaintFair Housing Act ) makes it illegal for landlords to harass a tenant in retaliation for reporting a problem. Examples of such harassment may include raising the rent or threatening to evict the tenant. Each such attempt is an additional violation. These protections do not apply if the tenant complained about something that they don’t have right to, so tenants should know whether it’s a violation. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.

Discrimination of Families, Pregnant Women, and Children in Oregon Apartments

It is illegal in Oregon (and federally) for landlords to discriminate against tenants based on their having children, being pregnant, or otherwise their familial status. Children must be provided equal access to all facilities and services offered to adults. In addition, tenants are protected from discrimination based on their marital status.

Family Restrictions

Most types of restrictions on families with children violate Oregon and federal law. For example, charging tenants with children higher rent or a higher deposit, advertising an apartment as being only for families (or not for families), putting an age limit for children, and placing all families in one part of the building are all illegal. Or. Rev. Stat. 659 .

Rights of Children

Landlords that treat children and adults differently are violating the law that prohibits landlords from discriminating against a tenant’s familial status. Thus, prohibiting children from playing in the laundry room, using the pool, or putting up signs that children can’t skateboard violates the law. Apartment policies must apply equally to adults and children. Or. Rev. Stat. 659 .

Pregnancy

Discriminating against pregnant tenants is illegal. For example, it’s illegal to denying an apartment application because someone is pregnant, charging higher rent or deposits to a pregnant tenant, or deliberately placing a pregnant tenant in a certain part of a building so other tenants aren’t disturbed by the noise of babies. Or. Rev. Stat. 659 .

Marital Status

Oregon additionally prohibits discrimination based on one’s marital status. Landlords cannot offer lowered rent to married tenants, only accept married couples, or only accept single tenants. Or. Rev. Stat. 659 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

Oregon has an exception called the “Murphy Rule”, which is intended to allow landlords to rent out extra rooms in their home without a large compliance burden. If the apartment is in the landlord’s own residence, then the landlord is free to discriminate regarding whom they rent to. This exception only applies to smaller homes, specifically where the house or building has four or fewer apartment units.

This exemption does not typically apply to advertising (e.g., “Only accepting white tenants”) or where the landlord uses a professional property manager or other real estate professional. Some states may have additional see restrictions. See state law for more details.

Or. Rev. Stat. 659 .

Enforcement

Tenants may report discrimination regarding familial status, children, or pregnancy to the federal government directly. They also have the option in Oregon to report it to state authorities. Tenants may choose to report the problem to both.

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the federal government? The most recent year we have data is from 2016. In 2016, 63.4% (65.3% from Oregon) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 5 out of the 49 discrimination complaints from Oregon were about discrimination against children, familial status, or pregnancy. Landlords that violate the federal Fair Housing Act can face civil penalties up to $16,000 for a first violation and $65,000 for future violations (each act of discrimination is a separate violation). In cases where the Justice Department is involved, civil penalties may rise to $100,000 per violation and federal courts can add additional damages. Landlords should also keep in mind the time and costs involved in defending against an action by the federal government. About 36% of complaints end up with a charge or settlement, based on 2016 data. Data.gov

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the authorities of Oregon or a local government? They may ask the tenant for information to help bring the case, including any evidence (e.g., emails and pictures). If the government finds there’s sufficient information between the tenant’s complaint (as well as complaints from other tenants), the landlord may be charged and taken to court to defend themselves. Landlords will likely receive fines if they lose. The amount of the fines will be determined in part by the severity of the issue. Fines increase significantly for repeat offenders. Or. Rev. Stat. Sec. 659 .

Reporting a Violation

Tenants may report violations of federal laws (i.e., discrimination against children and families) through the HUD website – it can be done online or via phone. Tenants can report issues to their state government by looking at the state website. A google search for “report fair housing violation in Oregon” will likely provide applicable information. In either case, tenants may be able to call the number on the page to ask whether their situation legally qualifies as rental discrimination.

Retaliation by the Landlord

Federal law (the https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaintFair Housing Act ) makes it illegal for landlords to harass a tenant in retaliation for reporting a problem. Examples of such harassment may include raising the rent or threatening to evict the tenant. Each such attempt is an additional violation. These protections do not apply if the tenant complained about something that they don’t have right to, so tenants should know whether it’s a violation. 10 such cases were filed with the federal government from in last year we have data (2016). Data.gov. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.

Discrimination of Families, Pregnant Women, and Children in Pennsylvania Apartments

It is illegal in Pennsylvania (and federally) for landlords to discriminate against tenants based on their having children, being pregnant, or otherwise their familial status. Children must be provided equal access to all facilities and services offered to adults.

Family Restrictions

Most types of restrictions on families with children violate Pennsylvania and federal law. For example, charging tenants with children higher rent or a higher deposit, advertising an apartment as being only for families (or not for families), putting an age limit for children, and placing all families in one part of the building are all illegal. 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. , 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 955.3 .

Rights of Children

Landlords that treat children and adults differently are violating the law that prohibits landlords from discriminating against a tenant’s familial status. Thus, prohibiting children from playing in the laundry room, using the pool, or putting up signs that children can’t skateboard violates the law. Apartment policies must apply equally to adults and children. 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. , 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 955.3 .

Pregnancy

Discriminating against pregnant tenants is illegal. For example, it’s illegal to denying an apartment application because someone is pregnant, charging higher rent or deposits to a pregnant tenant, or deliberately placing a pregnant tenant in a certain part of a building so other tenants aren’t disturbed by the noise of babies. 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. , 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 955.3 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

Pennsylvania has an exception called the “Murphy Rule”, which is intended to allow landlords to rent out extra rooms in their home without a large compliance burden. If the apartment is in the landlord’s own residence, then the landlord is free to discriminate regarding whom they rent to. This exception only applies to smaller homes, specifically where the house or building has four or fewer apartment units.

This exemption does not typically apply to advertising (e.g., “Only accepting white tenants”) or where the landlord uses a professional property manager or other real estate professional. Some states may have additional see restrictions. See state law for more details.

43 Pa. Cons. Stat. .

Enforcement

Tenants may report discrimination regarding familial status, children, or pregnancy to the federal government directly. They also have the option in Pennsylvania to report it to state authorities. Tenants may choose to report the problem to both.

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the federal government? The most recent year we have data is from 2016. In 2016, 63.4% (53.1% from Pennsylvania) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 12 out of the 179 discrimination complaints from Pennsylvania were about discrimination against children, familial status, or pregnancy. Landlords that violate the federal Fair Housing Act can face civil penalties up to $16,000 for a first violation and $65,000 for future violations (each act of discrimination is a separate violation). In cases where the Justice Department is involved, civil penalties may rise to $100,000 per violation and federal courts can add additional damages. Landlords should also keep in mind the time and costs involved in defending against an action by the federal government. About 36% of complaints end up with a charge or settlement, based on 2016 data. Data.gov

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the authorities of Pennsylvania or a local government? They may ask the tenant for information to help bring the case, including any evidence (e.g., emails and pictures). If the government finds there’s sufficient information between the tenant’s complaint (as well as complaints from other tenants), the landlord may be charged and taken to court to defend themselves. Landlords will likely receive fines if they lose. The amount of the fines will be determined in part by the severity of the issue. Fines increase significantly for repeat offenders. In addition, landlords may serve prison time for severe cases, as Pennsylvania considers discriminatory practices a criminal act in some cases. It can be a misdemeanor or a felony. 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 959.3 .

Reporting a Violation

Tenants may report violations of federal laws (i.e., discrimination against children and families) through the HUD website – it can be done online or via phone. Tenants can report issues to their state government by looking at the state website. A google search for “report fair housing violation in Pennsylvania” will likely provide applicable information. In either case, tenants may be able to call the number on the page to ask whether their situation legally qualifies as rental discrimination.

Retaliation by the Landlord

Federal law (the https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaintFair Housing Act ) makes it illegal for landlords to harass a tenant in retaliation for reporting a problem. Examples of such harassment may include raising the rent or threatening to evict the tenant. Each such attempt is an additional violation. These protections do not apply if the tenant complained about something that they don’t have right to, so tenants should know whether it’s a violation. 35 such cases were filed with the federal government from in last year we have data (2016). Data.gov. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.