Housing Discrimination Laws

Fair Housing Attorneys in Hartford County, CT

It is becoming increasingly important to have access to competent and experienced discrimination lawyers in Hartford County, Connecticut who are knowledgeable about housing discrimination laws (Connecticut) since the number of complaints and lawsuits filed against landlords and management companies is increasing. Fair housing situations are getting more and more complicated, especially when people with disabilities are involved.

The fair housing attorneys of Darius Law Group are adept at identifying frivolous allegations and defending public housing agencies against accusations of discriminatory act on the part of landlords. Contact us now for a free consultation!

Why Do We Need Fair Housing Attorneys in Hartford County, CT?

The federal Fair Housing Act says that every U.S. citizen has the right to live in the house or apartment of their choosing, regardless of color, disability, origin, race, religion, or sex. The law forbids any kind of discrimination that keeps a tenant from getting a place to live, such as being told they can’t rent or buy, can’t live in certain neighborhoods, can’t get loans or insurance, or has to live in conditions that aren’t up to par.

Fair housing discrimination can happen at any point in the housing process, from the availability of housing to pricing and even insurance. A tenant who believes they have been discriminated against has the right to file a complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) or the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). But not every claim that is made against landlords is valid. Landlords may needlessly pay heavy fines if they are not properly and competently represented

Housing Discrimination: What is It?

fair housing attorneysAccording to the federal Fair Housing Act, housing discrimination occurs when someone who is buying, renting, or selling, a house treats the person buying, renting, or selling differently because they belong to a protected class. Housing discrimination includes charging potential renters who have children more, not showing immigrant applicants housing or apartment units in certain areas, or offering to buy a house for less because the person selling it is of a different race.

Federal housing discrimination happens when a person is denied the right to rent or own a home because of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and sexual harassment), family status, as well as a handicap. Despite progress with civil rights laws since the Civil Rights Act, racial segregation is still widespread in many places, even if it is prohibited. The housing discrimination laws (Connecticut) are perfectly equipped to safeguard individuals, but the persistent problem is that which is not immediately recognizable.

In Connecticut, everyone has the legal right to equal housing opportunities. One has the freedom to choose where you live, establish a family, and buy a house. You have the It is your right to do so with dignity and without fear of being discriminated. Fair housing in Connecticut also implies that you can reside anywhere you want regardless of your age,  ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, or legal source of income (this means to say that income from alimony, child support, housing assistance, social security, SSI, general or public assistance should not restrict your housing rights).

The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) enforces laws that protect you from violations of your housing rights.

Federal Housing Discrimination Laws in Connecticut 

The federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 as well as the federal Fair Housing Act Amendments Act of 1988 make it illegal to treat people discriminatorily based on the following “protected categories”: national origin; color or race; religion; family status or age (including families that have children under 18 years old and women who are pregnant); disability or handicap; or sex.

The federal Fair Housing Acts covers all aspects of the relationship between a landlord and a tenant. A landlord cannot do any of the following:

  • advertise or say anything that suggests a limitation or a preference for a particular race, religion, or any other protected category.
  • lie about a rental unit not being available
  • use stricter standards for choosing tenants or refuse to rent to people from certain groups.
  • Set different terms, conditions, or privileges for renting a dwelling unit, either before or during the tenancy. For example, you could require some tenants to pay a bigger deposit or have a different policy for handling late rent payments.
  • termination of a tenancy due to discrimination

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is in charge of making sure that federal anti discrimination laws are followed. This is also where you can file a fair housing complaint.

LGBT and Housing Discrimination in Hartford County, Connecticut

Does the Anti Discrimination Law that Protects LGBT People From Housing Discrimination in Connecticut Also Cover People Who are Perceived to be LGBT?

Yes. Connecticut’s non-discrimination law says that “sexual orientation” means “having a preference for heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality, having a history of such a preference, or being identified with such a preference.” (Conn. Gen. Stat. 46a-81a) This language includes discrimination based on how people perceive things. For instance, if someone was fired because they were thought to be gay, they can use the anti-discrimination law to protect them, even if they are not gay.

In the same way, the law says the following about “gender identity or expression”:

[A] person’s gender-related identity, appearance, or behavior, whether or not it is different from what is historically associated with the person’s physiology or the assigned sex at birth… (Conn. Gen. Stat. 46a-51(21)).

Are there any Landlords Exempt from the Anti-Discrimination Law?

The sexual orientation part of the law does not apply to owner-occupied buildings that have 4 units or less, and the gender identity or expression part of the law does not apply to owner-occupied buildings with two units or less (Conn. Gen. Stat. sec. 46a-64c (b)(1)(B)).

Can I File More than One Type of Discrimination Complaint at Once if I Think I was Fired Because I Am Both a Lesbian and a Latina?

Yes. Connecticut’s nondiscrimination laws in the workplace make it illegal to treat someone unfairly because of their sexual orientation or because of their gender identity or expression, race, color, religion, age, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, or current or past mental history, intellectual, learning, or physical disability (Conn. Gen. Stat. sec. 46a-60). In housing and public accommodations, “lawful source of income” is added to the list of requirements (Conn. Gen. Stat. secs. 46a-64c; 46a-64). “Family status” is also on the list for housing (Conn. Gen. Stat. sec. 46a-64c).

What Should I Do if My Landlord Threatens Me Because I Filed a Discrimination Complaint?

It is against the law for your boss or landlord to threaten you with punishment because you filed a complaint. You may file an additional complaint against them for retaliation if they do this. Protections against “retaliation” apply to people who have filed complaints, testified or helped with the complaint process, or objected to any employment discrimination practice (Conn. Gen. Stat. sections 46a-60(4) and 46a-64c(a)(9)).

Exempt Property from Federal Anti Discrimination Laws

To make a long story short, federal fair housing laws do not apply to every rental property. These types of property are exempt:

  • four or less rental units in owner-occupied buildingsr
  • rentals of single-family houses made without the use of advertisements or a real estate broker, with the landlord owning no more than three such properties at any given time.
  • housing run by religious groups or private clubs that only allow their members to live there, and
  • exclusive housing for senior citizens, only in terms of age discrimination. There are two types of senior citizen housing that are exempt: communities where every renter is 62 or older, and communities where at least 80% of the inhabited units are occupied by at least one individual 55 or older.

Darius Law Group, Fair Housing Attorneys in Hartford County, Connecticut

The fair housing attorneys at Darius Law Group, LLC help people all around Connecticut with matters related to estate planning, family law, probate, real estate, as well as business formation. We know how hard it is to need good legal help but not have enough money to pay for it. This is why we have such reasonable rates and flexible payment plans. 

Our goal is to represent each of our clients with zeal, compassion, and individualized care. We know that every case is different, so we’ll do our best to help you find a solution that works for your unique situation. We will be at your side every step of the process, whether you need help with a landlord-tenant dispute, a divorce, probate, starting a business, or anything else. 

Call us now for an appointment! We would love to help you!

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