Have you recently moved out and you’ve decided to move again into a rented residential unit? Did you know that the tenant rights made by the Federal and State bodies prohibit discriminations therefore empowering tenants who are in the “protected categories”? Discrimination based on the protected categories is the following: discrimination on race or color, religion, national origin, age or familial status, disability, and sex.

According to the federal Fair Housing Act, a landlord may not do the following things:

  • Make any statement or advertise whatever that indicates preference based on the protected categories
  • Deny a tenant that a unit is unavailable even if it is available
  • Setting restrictive standards when it comes to selecting tenants and refusal to rent a unit to tenants who are members of certain groups
  • Make wavering policies before and during tenancy
  • Dissolve tenancy on the grounds that are discriminatory

If they do so, they will have to answer to the Board. You can complain them by filing a complaint and as a result, they will have to either pay for fines or even be imprisoned if it comes to that point.

As a tenant, you have to know that it is your landlord’s duty to make your right to a happy life in your rented abode, an absolute right that your tenant has no right to break. The moment the landlord hands out the key, the tenant will assume the position of being the owner of the rented space. Therefore, landlords should not bar you from being a tenant because of reasons of discrimination.

In return, tenants have responsibilities to uphold and these are:

  1. Paying rent on time
  2. Keeping the unit clean and damage-free
  3. Abide by the rules stipulated in the tenancy agreement
  4. Respect the neighbors’ right to peace and quiet
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