Category: Tenant Rights & Laws Last Updated: Sunday, 28 September 2014 Published: Sunday, 21 September 2014 Written by ATA Admin

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The Fair Housing Act of 1988 provides protection from housing discrimination for all housing applicants, tenants, and buyers. People are not allowed to be discriminated against because of their race, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or family status (whether or not you’re pregnant or have children). The Fair Housing Act covers renting or selling a house, renting an apartment, getting a mortgage, and advertising the apartment or house.

It is illegal under this law to:

  • Refuse to rent or lease to a qualified tenant because of race, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or family status; or
  • Advertise in ways that show preference or discrimination; or
  • Discriminate in providing services or facilities; or
  • Say someone cannot look at or rent an apartment or a house because it is not available when it really is available.

You can file complaints under the Fair Housing Act within one year from the date of a problem. To file a complaint, call the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Depending on where you live, there may also be local and state laws against discrimination.  Check with the local city offices for housing assistance, NPLS , or the local lawyer referral service.

  • Refusal to sell or rent to, deal or negotiate with, or give truthful information to any person.


  • Discrimination in the terms, conditions, privileges, provisions of service or facilities in sale or rental or dwelling or property.


  • discriminate, by advertising that housing is available only to persons of a certain race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.


  • "Blockbusting" for profit such as persuading owners to sell or rent housing by telling them that minority groups are moving into the neighborhood.



  • Denial to anyone of the use or participation In, any real estate services, such as brokers' organizations, multiple listing services, or other facilities related to the selling or rent of housing.



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