We want to be sure you're aware of your rights and responsibilities under federal, state, and local fair housing laws.
Federally Protected Classes:


State Protected Classes Include:

There are, often, additional local protected classes. 



Fair Housing Laws Apply To:

  • individual homes, duplexes, multifamily housing (apartments, condos, and townhomes), retirement housing, adult foster homes and longterm care facilities, homeless shelters and other nonprofit housing, etc.
  • sales, rentals, mortgage lending, building and construction, home insurance, appraisals, and inspections, land use regulations, zoning, as well as neighbor-on-neighbor harassment.


What Do I Do If Someone Has Filed a Fair Housing Complaint Against Me?

Fair housing is serious business, and all of us work hard to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act and other fair housing laws. Despite all your best efforts, you may still find yourself faced with a fair housing complaint and its accompanying investigation.

First, don’t take it personally. On the other hand, you should take the complaint seriously. Read the complaint documents you've received very carefully. Such documentation will including important information about your rights and specific timelines to be aware of. Don't miss this opportunity to present your side of the story.

We strongly advised you to speak with an attorney well-versed in fair housing law with any questions you may have. Note that a real estate or landlord / tenant attorney may or may not be adequately trained in fair housing issues. While they do not provide legal representation, you might also contact a local landlord trade association.

Gather all the documents that relate to the complaint. If you have maintained written resident files, and have established and adhered to consistent operating policies, this should not be a difficult task. Be sure to keep detailed written records of what happened, including dates, times, who was involved, as well as the names of possible witnesses. Keep an ongoing log of subsequent events.

You may get a call from the investigator handling the case, asking you to consider "conciliation" (settlement) of the complaint. HUD and all agencies certified by HUD have a statutory duty to attempt conciliation at some point during the investigation. The investigator is impartial—like a mediator, shuttling offers and counteroffers between the parties.

Many complaints are resolved with conciliation. In the event the investigating agency does find evidence to believe a violation has occurred, the agency ceases to be impartial and then begins steps to remedy the damage done by the discrimination.

To summarize, when you are notifled that a complaint of a fair housing violation has been filed against you or your company:

Don't get emotional.

  • Decide whether you want to retain an attorney for the investigation.
  • If you do, consult an attorney with expertise in fair housing laws.
  • Respond to the complaint.
  • Participate in conciliation discussions and cooperate with the investigator's requests to a reasonable extent.
  • Following these simple steps should result in a faster, less complicated, and ultimately less costly resolution of the complaint.


Contact us for a printed New Landlord Guide

Statute of Limitations

File with HUD within one year of the incident or file a lawsuit in federal or state court within two years of the incident.

What about Retaliation?

It is illegal for a housing provider to retaliate against a housing consumer for inquiring about his / her fair housing rights, filing a discrimination complaint, or otherwise taking steps to legally protect his / her civil rights in housing.

Need Help or Training?

Contact us by email or call (503) 223-8197 #5