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Racial Discrimination in Pennsylvania Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|PA|

Pennsylvania protects tenants from discriminatory practices by their landlord based on their race, color, national origin, and ancestry. Similarly, tenants also have protection under the federal law from discrimination based on their race, color, and national origin. Discriminatory Actions Discrimination is broader than just saying a certain race cannot rent an apartment. Discrimination includes: advertising an apartment that's for or not for a person based on their race, color, national origin, or ancestrycharging different rent or offering different amenities based on race, color, national origin, or ancestrydenying an apartment or application based on their race, color, national origin, or ancestrydenying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their race, color, national origin, or ancestrydenying a loan based on their race, color, national origin, or ancestrypressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a [...]

Religious Discrimination in Pennsylvania Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|PA|

Pennsylvania 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: discouraging tenants by renting by saying people of a certain religion live in the neighborhoodcharging different rent or offering different amenities based on religiondenying an apartment or application based on their religionadvertising an apartment that's for or not for a person based on their religionasking about a tenant's religionevicting a tenant based on their religiondenying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their religionretaliating (e.g., raising the rent, evicting, cutting off services, or harassing a tenant) against a tenant for reporting a problempressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain [...]

Sex, Gender, and LGBT-Based Discrimination in Pennsylvania Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|PA|

Pennsylvania law (and federal law) protects tenants from discrimination based on their sex or gender. This covers everything from offering lower rent for sexual favors to advertising men or women only apartments. Pennsylvania has no explicit protections for LGBT tenants, but federal and state protections against discriminating by one's gender offers some indirect protections in certain cases. To be safe, landlords should be careful about treating LGBT tenants differently. Sexism Pennsylvania law and federal law protect tenants from discrimination based on their sex (e.g., male, female). This protects tenants from most kinds of sexist acts, including advertising an apartment that's for or not for a person based on their sex, building a place that is inaccessible, evicting a tenant based on their sex, discouraging tenants by renting by saying people of a certain sex live in the neighborhood, refusing to [...]

Can Landlords Reject Tenants with Housing Vouchers in Pennsylvania?

By |September 12th, 2018|PA|

Certain localities in Pennsylvania require landlords to accept vouchers from tenants, specifically Philadelphia, Pittsburg, and Borough of State College. Other localities in Pennsylvania do not have such protections at the time of writing. Click here for the latest updates. Voucher Policy Landlords cannot deny tenants an apartment (or otherwise discriminate against them) based on the fact that their income (or part of their income) comes from government financial assistance programs including Section 8 vouchers. Aside from denying an application, landlords cannot charge voucher holders more, segregate them to a different section of a building than non-voucher holders, or provide them different services or amenities from non-Section 8 tenants. 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. , 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 955.3 . Enforcement and Reporting Problems Enforcement is handled by the local governments of Philadelphia, Pittsburg, and Borough of State College. Tenants [...]

Age Discrimination in Pennsylvania Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|PA|

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 [...]

Discrimination Against Mental or Physical Health Conditions in Pennsylvania Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|PA|

Pennsylvania and federal law give tenants strong protections when landlords discriminate against their mental or physical health conditions. Landlords are required to provide reasonable accommodations for tenants' handicaps. What's Covered? Pennsylvania and federal law cover mental and physical health-related handicaps. A "health condition" is much broader than a diagnosed disease in official medical books. It can be any mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Conditions that may not obviously be a disability qualify for protection, such as a sports injury, hoarding tendencies, or paranoia. Of course, medically diagnosed conditions also qualify, such as HIV, cancer, Alzheimer's, or bipolar disorder. The law also covers tenants that had a history of such an impairment and tenants who have been regarded as having such an impairment. 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. , 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. [...]

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

By |September 12th, 2018|PA|

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 [...]

Discrimination of Source of Income in Pennsylvania Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|PA|

Pennsylvania does not protect tenants from landlords who deny an apartment application based on the type of job they have. There are few exceptions when the job is related to the tenant's gender, race, religion, or other protected categories under the Fair Housing Act. Some states, counties, and cities may block landlords from discriminating against Section 8 Voucher tenant applicants and landlords should know it's illegal to have a blanket policy of denying all applicants with a criminal record. Section 8 Voucher Recipients Some localities in Pennsylvania prohibit landlords from discriminating against tenants who are attempting to use Section 8 vouchers. In particular, these areas have laws prohibiting discrimination against voucher holders: Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Borough of State College. Landlords are always free to deny Section 8 applications for the same reasons they would deny any other tenant (e.g., for having [...]