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What are a renter’s rights against discrimination in housing?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2021 | Business Litigation |

Not everyone in North Carolina is a homeowner. Quite the opposite, many people rent an apartment at some point in their lives or are seeking to rent an apartment. It is important for renters to know their rights regarding discrimination against them by landlords.

The North Carolina Fair Housing Act

Renters in North Carolina were protected from discrimination under the Federal Fair Housing Act, which was enacted in 1968. North Carolina passed its own Fair Housing Act in 1983 to clarify that the federal laws were applicable to all landlords and renters in the state.

Under the Act, all protected classes of people should be treated equally with regards to housing issues. This includes renting property, purchasing property or obtaining a loan to rent or purchase property.

What is unlawful under the Act?

It is unlawful under the Act to refuse to rent to someone because they are a member of a protected class. It is also unlawful to modify existing lease terms because someone is a member of a protected class. In addition, under the Act it is unlawful to discriminate in rental advertisements. It is also unlawful to falsely claim a rental unit is unavailable because the prospective renter is a member of a protected class. Finally, it is unlawful to make reasonable accommodations to a rental unit for a renter who has a disability.

Who is protected under the Act?

To be protected under the Act, you must fall under one of seven classes of persons. You cannot be discriminated against based on your color, disability, familial status, national origin, race, religion or sex.

Seek assistance if you believe you have a Fair Housing claim

This post does not contain legal advice. Violations of the North Carolina Fair Housing Act are serious. Those who want to learn more about this law and their rights may want to consult with a real estate attorney for further information.