Authored By: Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
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"Fair Housing" (anti-discrimination) laws prohibit a landlord to discriminate against you based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or disability. No one may take any of the following actions based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability:
(1) Refuse to rent you housing
(2) Refuse to negotiate for housing
(3) Make housing unavailable
(4) Set different terms, conditions or privileges for rental of a dwelling
(5) Provide different housing services or facilities
(6) Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection or rental
(7) Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple listing service) related to rental of housing
(8)Threaten, coerce, intimidate or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right
(9) Deny a request for a reasonable accommodation of a person's disability.
It is also illegal advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.
If you believe that your rights have been violated because of your race, color, religion, sex, disability, having children, or national origin, you should contact the Fair Housing office in the city where you live or the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office in your area. You can also call HUD's national number for discrimination complaints, 1-800-669-9777, and HUD's website is www.hud.gov. HUD's online complaint is located at http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/online-complaint.cfm. You may want to contact your local tenant association or an attorney for advice. If you file a complaint with a city Fair Housing office or HUD, they must investigate the claim and get back to you with their findings. You must file such an administrative complaint within one year of the violation. You can also file a lawsuit in court for damages, fees, and costs, and you have two years from the date of the violation to file such a lawsuit.