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Racial Discrimination in West Virginia Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|WV|

West Virginia 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: denying an apartment or application based on their race, color, national origin, or ancestryadvertising an apartment that's for or not for a person 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 ancestryrefusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant's 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 [...]

Religious Discrimination in West Virginia Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|WV|

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 religioncharging different rent or offering different amenities based on religionrefusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant's religiondenying an apartment or application based on their religioninterfering with a tenant's use and enjoyment of the property based on their religionpressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain religion in the neighborhoodadvertising an apartment that's for or not for a person based on their religionfalsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant's religiondenying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their [...]

Sex, Gender, and LGBT-Based Discrimination in West Virginia Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|WV|

West Virginia 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. West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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, pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain sex in the neighborhood, building a place that is inaccessible, denying an applicant [...]

Can Landlords Reject Tenants with Housing Vouchers in West Virginia?

By |September 12th, 2018|WV|

There is no explicit law in West Virginia, its major cities, or counties regarding whether landlords can implement a policy of not accepting vouchers or tenants receiving government assistance to pay rent. However, some courts have ruled that doing so violates the Fair Housing Act and similar laws. Discrimination Against Families and Minorities Most of the time, landlords are free to deny voucher holders as a rule where there is no direct rule against it. However, a few courts have held that discrimination against voucher recipients (e.g., a "No Voucher" policy) violates anti-discrimination laws (see the Fair Housing Act and the corresponding state law of West Virginia). This is because a majority of voucher recipients are minorities and families and so such a policy has a discriminatory impact on those protected groups. While rare, it's becoming increasingly common. To be [...]

Age Discrimination in West Virginia Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|WV|

West Virginia 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. West Virginia landlords are free to advertise units as ideal for certain age groups and to deny housing to people who do not fit [...]

Discrimination Against Mental or Physical Health Conditions in West Virginia Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|WV|

West Virginia 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? West Virginia 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. W. Va. Code Sec. 5-11 . West Virginia [...]

Discrimination of Families, Pregnant Women, and Children in West Virginia Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|WV|

It is illegal in West Virginia (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 West Virginia 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. W. Va. Code Sec. 5-11 . 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 [...]

Discrimination of Source of Income in West Virginia Apartments

By |September 12th, 2018|WV|

West Virginia 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 West Virginia does not prohibit landlords from denying tenants because they are a Section 8 voucher holder. To the best of our research, we did not find any cities or counties in this state that prohibit denying voucher holders. However, a few states and cities are considering such a prohibition so please check back periodically. Locations [...]