Religious Discrimination in Wyoming Apartments

Wyoming protects tenants from discriminatory practices by their landlord based on their religion. Tenants also have similar protections under federal law.

Discriminatory Actions

Discrimination covers quite a bit more than just landlords who refuse to rent to certain religions. Discrimination includes:

  • charging different rent or offering different amenities based on religion
  • denying an apartment or application based on their religion
  • refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant’s religion
  • interfering with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of the property based on their religion
  • pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain religion in the neighborhood
  • denying a loan based on their religion
  • advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their religion
  • denying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their religion

Wyo. Stat. 40-26-107 , Wyo. Stat. 40-26-144 , Wyo. Stat. Sec. 40-26-103

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Exemptions for Religious Organizations

In Wyoming, religious organizations are exempt when they restrict entry into their housing or apartments based on membership to their organization. This only applies in the rare cases when the property owner or landlord is itself a religious organization, not when the landlord is a person who is merely a member of a religious group. This exemption may have restrictions on the types of things an organization can discriminate based on, such as race or gender identity. Wyo. Stat. 40-26-103 , Wyo. Stat. 40-26-107 , Wyo. Stat. 40-26-110 .

Related Protections

Some religions are related to a tenant’s race or nationality, such as Judaism and Hinduism. 1987 Supreme Court case , Recent lower-level case . Both race and nationality are also protected from discrimination under Wyoming and federal laws offering additional protection to landlords who discriminate against such tenants. Wyo. Stat. 40-26-107 , Wyo. Stat. 40-26-144 , Wyo. Stat. Sec. 40-26-103 .

Discussing Neighborhood Demographics

In Wyoming, landlords violate state law if they discuss the religious demographics of the neighborhood with prospective tenants. For example, describing a neighborhood as having increasingly more Christians would violate the state’s law as a way to sell an apartment is considered religious discrimination. Inversely, it’s also discrimination for a landlord to say that a tenant may be interested in a more expensive apartment because the alternative is in a “bad” neighborhood due to the religious demographics in the area. To be safe, landlords should not discuss the racial or religious demographics of a neighborhood, even if asked directly by the tenant. Wyo. Stat. 40-26-107 , Wyo. Stat. 40-26-144 , Wyo. Stat. Sec. 40-26-103 .

Exemptions for Second Homes

Wyoming 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.

Wyo. Stat. 40-26-103 , Wyo. Stat. 40-26-107 , Wyo. Stat. 40-26-110 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

Wyoming 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.

Wyo. Stat. 40-26-103 , Wyo. Stat. 40-26-107 , Wyo. Stat. 40-26-110 .

Enforcement

Tenants may report discrimination regarding their religion to the federal government directly. They also have the option in Wyoming 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% (55.6% from Wyoming) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 0 out of the 9 discrimination complaints from Wyoming were about discriminatory acts based on the tenant’s religion. 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 Wyoming 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. Wyo. Stat. 40-26-137 , Wyo. Stat. Sec. 40-26-132 . 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. Wyo. Stat. 40-26-137 , Wyo. Stat. 40-26-144 , Wyo. Stat. Sec. 40-26-132 .

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 Wyoming” 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.

Religious Discrimination in West Virginia Apartments

West Virginia protects tenants from discriminatory practices by their landlord based on their religion. Tenants also have similar protections under federal law.

Discriminatory Actions

Discrimination covers quite a bit more than just landlords who refuse to rent to certain religions. Discrimination includes:

  • denying a loan based on their religion
  • charging different rent or offering different amenities based on religion
  • refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant’s religion
  • denying an apartment or application based on their religion
  • interfering with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of the property based on their religion
  • pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain religion in the neighborhood
  • advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their religion
  • falsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant’s religion
  • denying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their religion

W. Va. Code Sec. 5-11

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Exemptions for Religious Organizations

In West Virginia, religious organizations are exempt when they restrict entry into their housing or apartments based on membership to their organization. This only applies in the rare cases when the property owner or landlord is itself a religious organization, not when the landlord is a person who is merely a member of a religious group. This exemption may have restrictions on the types of things an organization can discriminate based on, such as race or gender identity. W. Va. Code 5-11 .

Related Protections

Some religions are related to a tenant’s race or nationality, such as Judaism and Hinduism. 1987 Supreme Court case , Recent lower-level case . Both race and nationality are also protected from discrimination under West Virginia and federal laws offering additional protection to landlords who discriminate against such tenants. W. Va. Code Sec. 5-11 .

Discussing Neighborhood Demographics

In West Virginia, landlords violate state law if they discuss the religious demographics of the neighborhood with prospective tenants. For example, describing a neighborhood as having increasingly more Christians would violate the state’s law as a way to sell an apartment is considered religious discrimination. Inversely, it’s also discrimination for a landlord to say that a tenant may be interested in a more expensive apartment because the alternative is in a “bad” neighborhood due to the religious demographics in the area. To be safe, landlords should not discuss the racial or religious demographics of a neighborhood, even if asked directly by the tenant. W. Va. Code Sec. 5-11 .

Exemptions for Second Homes

West Virginia 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.

W. Va. Code 5-11 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

West Virginia 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.

W. Va. Code 5-11 .

Enforcement

Tenants may report discrimination regarding their religion to the federal government directly. They also have the option in West Virginia 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% (25.0% from West Virginia) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 0 out of the 16 discrimination complaints from West Virginia were about discriminatory acts based on the tenant’s religion. 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 West Virginia 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. W. Va. Code 5-11 , W. Va. Code Sec. 5-11 . W. Va. Code 5-11 , W. Va. Code Sec. 5-11 .

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 West Virginia” 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.

Religious Discrimination in Wisconsin Apartments

Wisconsin protects tenants from discriminatory practices by their landlord based on their religion. Tenants also have similar protections under federal law.

Discriminatory Actions

Discrimination covers quite a bit more than just landlords who refuse to rent to certain religions. Discrimination includes:

  • denying an apartment or application based on their religion
  • refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant’s religion
  • denying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their religion
  • denying a loan based on their religion
  • falsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant’s religion
  • evicting a tenant based on their religion
  • interfering with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of the property based on their religion
  • advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their religion
  • pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain religion in the neighborhood
  • charging different rent or offering different amenities based on religion

Wis. Stat. 106.50 , Wis. Stat. Sec. 106.50

.

Related Protections

Some religions are related to a tenant’s race or nationality, such as Judaism and Hinduism. 1987 Supreme Court case , Recent lower-level case . Both race and nationality are also protected from discrimination under Wisconsin and federal laws offering additional protection to landlords who discriminate against such tenants. Wis. Stat. 106.50 , Wis. Stat. Sec. 106.50 .

Discussing Neighborhood Demographics

In Wisconsin, landlords violate state law if they discuss the religious demographics of the neighborhood with prospective tenants. For example, describing a neighborhood as having increasingly more Christians would violate the state’s law as a way to sell an apartment is considered religious discrimination. Inversely, it’s also discrimination for a landlord to say that a tenant may be interested in a more expensive apartment because the alternative is in a “bad” neighborhood due to the religious demographics in the area. To be safe, landlords should not discuss the racial or religious demographics of a neighborhood, even if asked directly by the tenant. Wis. Stat. 106.50 , Wis. Stat. Sec. 106.50 .

Enforcement

Tenants may report discrimination regarding their religion to the federal government directly. They also have the option in Wisconsin 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% (41.2% from Wisconsin) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 7 out of the 51 discrimination complaints from Wisconsin were about discriminatory acts based on the tenant’s religion. 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 Wisconsin 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. Wis. Stat. Sec. 106.50 . Wis. Stat. 106.50 , Wis. Stat. Sec. 106.50 .

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 Wisconsin” 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.

Religious Discrimination in Virginia Apartments

Virginia protects tenants from discriminatory practices by their landlord based on their religion. Tenants also have similar protections under federal law.

Discriminatory Actions

Discrimination covers quite a bit more than just landlords who refuse to rent to certain religions. Discrimination includes:

  • refusing to provide municipal services based on religion
  • evicting a tenant based on their religion
  • restrictive covenants based on religion
  • denying an apartment or application based on their religion
  • denying a loan based on their religion
  • advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their religion
  • pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain religion in the neighborhood
  • refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant’s religion
  • interfering with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of the property based on their religion
  • denying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their religion
  • falsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant’s religion
  • discouraging tenants by renting by saying people of a certain religion live in the neighborhood
  • charging different rent or offering different amenities based on religion

18 Va. Admin. Code 135-50-80 , Va. Code 36-96.3 , Va. Code 36-96.5 , Va. Code Sec. 36-96.3

.

Exemptions for Religious Organizations

In Virginia, religious organizations are exempt when they restrict entry into their housing or apartments based on membership to their organization. This only applies in the rare cases when the property owner or landlord is itself a religious organization, not when the landlord is a person who is merely a member of a religious group. This exemption may have restrictions on the types of things an organization can discriminate based on, such as race or gender identity. Va. Code 36-96.2 , Va. Code 36-96.7 , Va. Code Sec. 36-96.2 .

Related Protections

Some religions are related to a tenant’s race or nationality, such as Judaism and Hinduism. 1987 Supreme Court case , Recent lower-level case . Both race and nationality are also protected from discrimination under Virginia and federal laws offering additional protection to landlords who discriminate against such tenants. 18 Va. Admin. Code 135-50-80 , Va. Code 36-96.3 , Va. Code 36-96.5 , Va. Code Sec. 36-96.3 .

Discussing Neighborhood Demographics

In Virginia, landlords violate state law if they discuss the religious demographics of the neighborhood with prospective tenants. For example, describing a neighborhood as having increasingly more Christians would violate the state’s law as a way to sell an apartment is considered religious discrimination. Inversely, it’s also discrimination for a landlord to say that a tenant may be interested in a more expensive apartment because the alternative is in a “bad” neighborhood due to the religious demographics in the area. To be safe, landlords should not discuss the racial or religious demographics of a neighborhood, even if asked directly by the tenant. 18 Va. Admin. Code 135-50-80 , Va. Code 36-96.3 , Va. Code 36-96.5 , Va. Code Sec. 36-96.3 .

Exemptions for Second Homes

Virginia 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.

Va. Code 36-96.2 , Va. Code 36-96.7 , Va. Code Sec. 36-96.2 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

Virginia 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.

Va. Code 36-96.2 , Va. Code 36-96.7 , Va. Code Sec. 36-96.2 .

Enforcement

Tenants may report discrimination regarding their religion to the federal government directly. They also have the option in Virginia 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% (61.1% from Virginia) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 1 out of the 90 discrimination complaints from Virginia were about discriminatory acts based on the tenant’s religion. 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 Virginia 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. Va. Code Sec. 36-96.17 . Va. Code Sec. 36-96.17 .

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 Virginia” 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. 7 such cases were filed with the federal government from in last year we have data (2016). Data.gov. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.

Religious Discrimination in Washington Apartments

Washington protects tenants from discriminatory practices by their landlord based on their religion. Tenants also have similar protections under federal law.

Discriminatory Actions

Discrimination covers quite a bit more than just landlords who refuse to rent to certain religions. Discrimination includes:

  • retaliating (e.g., raising the rent, evicting, cutting off services, or harassing a tenant) against a tenant for reporting a problem
  • denying an apartment or application based on their religion
  • advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their religion
  • refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant’s religion
  • restrictive covenants based on religion
  • pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain religion in the neighborhood
  • asking about a tenant’s religion
  • denying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their religion
  • falsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant’s religion
  • charging different rent or offering different amenities based on religion
  • evicting a tenant based on their religion
  • denying a loan based on their religion
  • interfering with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of the property based on their religion

Wash. Rev. Code 49.60.210 , Wash. Rev. Code 49.60.222 , Wash. Rev. Code Sec. 49.60.222

.

Related Protections

Some religions are related to a tenant’s race or nationality, such as Judaism and Hinduism. 1987 Supreme Court case , Recent lower-level case . Both race and nationality are also protected from discrimination under Washington and federal laws offering additional protection to landlords who discriminate against such tenants. Wash. Rev. Code 49.60.210 , Wash. Rev. Code 49.60.222 , Wash. Rev. Code Sec. 49.60.222 .

Discussing Neighborhood Demographics

In Washington, landlords violate state law if they discuss the religious demographics of the neighborhood with prospective tenants. For example, describing a neighborhood as having increasingly more Christians would violate the state’s law as a way to sell an apartment is considered religious discrimination. Inversely, it’s also discrimination for a landlord to say that a tenant may be interested in a more expensive apartment because the alternative is in a “bad” neighborhood due to the religious demographics in the area. To be safe, landlords should not discuss the racial or religious demographics of a neighborhood, even if asked directly by the tenant. Wash. Rev. Code 49.60.210 , Wash. Rev. Code 49.60.222 , Wash. Rev. Code Sec. 49.60.222 .

Exemptions for Second Homes

Washington 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.

Wash. Rev. Code 49.60.222 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

Washington 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.

Wash. Rev. Code 49.60.222 .

Enforcement

Tenants may report discrimination regarding their religion to the federal government directly. They also have the option in Washington 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% (57.3% from Washington) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 8 out of the 171 discrimination complaints from Washington were about discriminatory acts based on the tenant’s religion. 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 Washington 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. Wash. Rev. Code Sec. 49.60.225 . 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. Wash. Rev. Code 49.60.310 , Wash. Rev. Code Sec. 49.60.225 .

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 Washington” 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. 14 such cases were filed with the federal government from in last year we have data (2016). Data.gov. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.

Religious Discrimination in Texas Apartments

Texas protects tenants from discriminatory practices by their landlord based on their religion. Tenants also have similar protections under federal law.

Discriminatory Actions

Discrimination covers quite a bit more than just landlords who refuse to rent to certain religions. Discrimination includes:

  • falsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant’s religion
  • denying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their religion
  • refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant’s religion
  • refusing to provide municipal services based on religion
  • denying an apartment or application based on their religion
  • advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their religion
  • discouraging tenants by renting by saying people of a certain religion live in the neighborhood
  • denying a loan based on their religion
  • restrictive covenants based on religion
  • charging different rent or offering different amenities based on religion
  • pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain religion in the neighborhood
  • interfering with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of the property based on their religion

40 Tex. Admin. Code 819.124 , 40 Tex. Admin. Code 819.126 , 40 Tex. Admin. Code Sec. 819.126 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.021 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.022 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.025 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.171

.

Exemptions for Religious Organizations

In Texas, religious organizations are exempt when they restrict entry into their housing or apartments based on membership to their organization. This only applies in the rare cases when the property owner or landlord is itself a religious organization, not when the landlord is a person who is merely a member of a religious group. This exemption may have restrictions on the types of things an organization can discriminate based on, such as race or gender identity. 40 Tex. Admin. Code 819.122 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.021 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.025 .

Related Protections

Some religions are related to a tenant’s race or nationality, such as Judaism and Hinduism. 1987 Supreme Court case , Recent lower-level case . Both race and nationality are also protected from discrimination under Texas and federal laws offering additional protection to landlords who discriminate against such tenants. 40 Tex. Admin. Code 819.124 , 40 Tex. Admin. Code 819.126 , 40 Tex. Admin. Code Sec. 819.126 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.021 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.022 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.025 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.171 .

Discussing Neighborhood Demographics

In Texas, landlords violate state law if they discuss the religious demographics of the neighborhood with prospective tenants. For example, describing a neighborhood as having increasingly more Christians would violate the state’s law as a way to sell an apartment is considered religious discrimination. Inversely, it’s also discrimination for a landlord to say that a tenant may be interested in a more expensive apartment because the alternative is in a “bad” neighborhood due to the religious demographics in the area. To be safe, landlords should not discuss the racial or religious demographics of a neighborhood, even if asked directly by the tenant. 40 Tex. Admin. Code 819.124 , 40 Tex. Admin. Code 819.126 , 40 Tex. Admin. Code Sec. 819.126 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.021 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.022 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.025 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.171 .

Exemptions for Second Homes

Texas 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.

40 Tex. Admin. Code 819.122 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.021 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.025 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

Texas 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.

40 Tex. Admin. Code 819.122 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.021 , Tex. Prop. Code 301.025 .

Enforcement

Tenants may report discrimination regarding their religion to the federal government directly. They also have the option in Texas 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% (85.7% from Texas) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 12 out of the 1139 discrimination complaints from Texas were about discriminatory acts based on the tenant’s religion. 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 Texas 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. Tex. Prop. Code Sec. 301.112 . 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. Tex. Prop. Code 301.171 , Tex. Prop. Code Sec. 301.112 .

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 Texas” 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. 43 such cases were filed with the federal government from in last year we have data (2016). Data.gov. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.

Religious Discrimination in Utah Apartments

Utah protects tenants from discriminatory practices by their landlord based on their religion. Tenants also have similar protections under federal law.

Discriminatory Actions

Discrimination covers quite a bit more than just landlords who refuse to rent to certain religions. Discrimination includes:

  • refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant’s religion
  • charging different rent or offering different amenities based on religion
  • interfering with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of the property based on their religion
  • pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain religion in the neighborhood
  • denying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their religion
  • denying an apartment or application based on their religion
  • falsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant’s religion
  • advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their religion
  • denying a loan based on their religion

Utah Code 57-21-7 , Utah Code Sec.57-21-5

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Exemptions for Religious Organizations

In Utah, religious organizations are exempt when they restrict entry into their housing or apartments based on membership to their organization. This only applies in the rare cases when the property owner or landlord is itself a religious organization, not when the landlord is a person who is merely a member of a religious group. This exemption may have restrictions on the types of things an organization can discriminate based on, such as race or gender identity. Utah Code 57-21-3 .

Related Protections

Some religions are related to a tenant’s race or nationality, such as Judaism and Hinduism. 1987 Supreme Court case , Recent lower-level case . Both race and nationality are also protected from discrimination under Utah and federal laws offering additional protection to landlords who discriminate against such tenants. Utah Code 57-21-7 , Utah Code Sec.57-21-5 .

Discussing Neighborhood Demographics

In Utah, landlords violate state law if they discuss the religious demographics of the neighborhood with prospective tenants. For example, describing a neighborhood as having increasingly more Christians would violate the state’s law as a way to sell an apartment is considered religious discrimination. Inversely, it’s also discrimination for a landlord to say that a tenant may be interested in a more expensive apartment because the alternative is in a “bad” neighborhood due to the religious demographics in the area. To be safe, landlords should not discuss the racial or religious demographics of a neighborhood, even if asked directly by the tenant. Utah Code 57-21-7 , Utah Code Sec.57-21-5 .

Exemptions for Second Homes

Utah 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.

Utah Code 57-21-3 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

Utah 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.

Utah Code 57-21-3 .

Enforcement

Tenants may report discrimination regarding their religion to the federal government directly. They also have the option in Utah 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% (59.7% from Utah) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 1 out of the 67 discrimination complaints from Utah were about discriminatory acts based on the tenant’s religion. 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 Utah 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. Utah Code Sec. 57-21-11 . Utah Code Sec. 57-21-11 .

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 Utah” 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.

Religious Discrimination in Vermont Apartments

Vermont protects tenants from discriminatory practices by their landlord based on their religion. Tenants also have similar protections under federal law.

Discriminatory Actions

Discrimination covers quite a bit more than just landlords who refuse to rent to certain religions. Discrimination includes:

  • making zoning or land use restrictions based on religion
  • advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their religion
  • charging different rent or offering different amenities based on religion
  • refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant’s religion
  • denying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their religion
  • interfering with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of the property based on their religion
  • denying a loan based on their religion
  • pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain religion in the neighborhood
  • retaliating (e.g., raising the rent, evicting, cutting off services, or harassing a tenant) against a tenant for reporting a problem
  • falsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant’s religion
  • denying an apartment or application based on their religion

Vt. Stat. tit. 9, 4503 , Vt. Stat. tit. 9, 4506 , Vt. Stat. tit. 9, Sec. 4503

.

Exemptions for Religious Organizations

In Vermont, religious organizations are exempt when they restrict entry into their housing or apartments based on membership to their organization. This only applies in the rare cases when the property owner or landlord is itself a religious organization, not when the landlord is a person who is merely a member of a religious group. This exemption may have restrictions on the types of things an organization can discriminate based on, such as race or gender identity. Vt. Stat. tit. 9, 4503 , Vt. Stat. tit. 9, 4504 .

Related Protections

Some religions are related to a tenant’s race or nationality, such as Judaism and Hinduism. 1987 Supreme Court case , Recent lower-level case . Both race and nationality are also protected from discrimination under Vermont and federal laws offering additional protection to landlords who discriminate against such tenants. Vt. Stat. tit. 9, 4503 , Vt. Stat. tit. 9, 4506 , Vt. Stat. tit. 9, Sec. 4503 .

Discussing Neighborhood Demographics

In Vermont, landlords violate state law if they discuss the religious demographics of the neighborhood with prospective tenants. For example, describing a neighborhood as having increasingly more Christians would violate the state’s law as a way to sell an apartment is considered religious discrimination. Inversely, it’s also discrimination for a landlord to say that a tenant may be interested in a more expensive apartment because the alternative is in a “bad” neighborhood due to the religious demographics in the area. To be safe, landlords should not discuss the racial or religious demographics of a neighborhood, even if asked directly by the tenant. Vt. Stat. tit. 9, 4503 , Vt. Stat. tit. 9, 4506 , Vt. Stat. tit. 9, Sec. 4503 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

Vermont 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.

Vt. Stat. tit. 9, 4503 , Vt. Stat. tit. 9, 4504 .

Enforcement

Tenants may report discrimination regarding their religion to the federal government directly. They also have the option in Vermont 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% (54.5% from Vermont) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 0 out of the 11 discrimination complaints from Vermont were about discriminatory acts based on the tenant’s religion. 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 Vermont 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. Vt. Stat. tit. 9, Sec. 4507 . Vt. Stat. tit. 9, Sec. 4507 .

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 Vermont” 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.

Religious Discrimination in South Dakota Apartments

South Dakota protects tenants from discriminatory practices by their landlord based on their religion. Tenants also have similar protections under federal law.

Discriminatory Actions

Discrimination covers quite a bit more than just landlords who refuse to rent to certain religions. Discrimination includes:

  • retaliating (e.g., raising the rent, evicting, cutting off services, or harassing a tenant) against a tenant for reporting a problem
  • denying an apartment or application based on their religion
  • denying a loan based on their religion
  • charging different rent or offering different amenities based on religion
  • advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their religion
  • asking about a tenant’s religion

S.D. Codified Laws Sec. 20-13-20

.

Related Protections

Some religions are related to a tenant’s race or nationality, such as Judaism and Hinduism. 1987 Supreme Court case , Recent lower-level case . Both race and nationality are also protected from discrimination under South Dakota and federal laws offering additional protection to landlords who discriminate against such tenants. S.D. Codified Laws Sec. 20-13-20 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

South Dakota 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.D. Codified Laws 20-13-20 .

Enforcement

Tenants may report discrimination regarding their religion to the federal government directly. They also have the option in South Dakota 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% (60.0% from South Dakota) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 0 out of the 5 discrimination complaints from South Dakota were about discriminatory acts based on the tenant’s religion. 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 Dakota 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 Dakota 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 Dakota” 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.

Religious Discrimination in Tennessee Apartments

Tennessee protects tenants from discriminatory practices by their landlord based on their religion. Tenants also have similar protections under federal law.

Discriminatory Actions

Discrimination covers quite a bit more than just landlords who refuse to rent to certain religions. Discrimination includes:

  • denying an apartment or application based on their religion
  • refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant’s religion
  • denying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their religion
  • asking about a tenant’s religion
  • retaliating (e.g., raising the rent, evicting, cutting off services, or harassing a tenant) against a tenant for reporting a problem
  • denying a loan based on their religion
  • advertising an apartment that’s for or not for a person based on their religion
  • falsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant’s religion
  • charging different rent or offering different amenities based on religion
  • pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain religion in the neighborhood
  • interfering with a tenant’s use and enjoyment of the property based on their religion
  • restrictive covenants based on religion

Tenn. Code 4-21-301 , Tenn. Code 4-21-601

.

Exemptions for Religious Organizations

In Tennessee, religious organizations are exempt when they restrict entry into their housing or apartments based on membership to their organization. This only applies in the rare cases when the property owner or landlord is itself a religious organization, not when the landlord is a person who is merely a member of a religious group. This exemption may have restrictions on the types of things an organization can discriminate based on, such as race or gender identity. Tenn. Code 4-21-601 , Tenn. Code 4-21-602 .

Related Protections

Some religions are related to a tenant’s race or nationality, such as Judaism and Hinduism. 1987 Supreme Court case , Recent lower-level case . Both race and nationality are also protected from discrimination under Tennessee and federal laws offering additional protection to landlords who discriminate against such tenants. Tenn. Code 4-21-301 , Tenn. Code 4-21-601 .

Discussing Neighborhood Demographics

In Tennessee, landlords violate state law if they discuss the religious demographics of the neighborhood with prospective tenants. For example, describing a neighborhood as having increasingly more Christians would violate the state’s law as a way to sell an apartment is considered religious discrimination. Inversely, it’s also discrimination for a landlord to say that a tenant may be interested in a more expensive apartment because the alternative is in a “bad” neighborhood due to the religious demographics in the area. To be safe, landlords should not discuss the racial or religious demographics of a neighborhood, even if asked directly by the tenant. Tenn. Code 4-21-301 , Tenn. Code 4-21-601 .

Exception for Landlord-Occupied Homes

Tennessee 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.

Tenn. Code 4-21-601 , Tenn. Code 4-21-602 .

Enforcement

Tenants may report discrimination regarding their religion to the federal government directly. They also have the option in Tennessee 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% (51.3% from Tennessee) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 3 out of the 117 discrimination complaints from Tennessee were about discriminatory acts based on the tenant’s religion. 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 Tennessee 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. Tenn. Code Sec. 4-21-306 . Tenn. Code Sec. 4-21-306 .

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 Tennessee” 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. 8 such cases were filed with the federal government from in last year we have data (2016). Data.gov. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.