Housing discrimination refers to systematic patterns of discrimination which affect the ability to buy or rent housing based on a person’s race, gender, disability, age or marital status. This disparate treatment by the housing industry can be as wide-ranging as a person’s place of residence or depending on group characteristics.
There are many factors which may cause discrimination in the housing industry, such as age discrimination or being a disabled person; some states have fair housing laws which protect against this discrimination. However, there are other areas where discrimination is allowed.
For instance, if a real estate agent tries to sell a house for much less than what it is worth, it may be considered discrimination. If there is an imbalance of income, it may also be considered discrimination.
Some people, especially gay couples, suffer from discrimination due to their sexual orientation. This is usually seen at restaurants and bars, when they must wait for long periods of time to be seated. It may also occur in employment settings and in public accommodations such as theaters and hotels. Other areas where discrimination may occur include public education, job positions and medical treatments.
It is not only in the housing industry where discrimination occurs, it occurs in all industries, both in private and public service. Even some of the major employers of Americans, including corporations and banks, may discriminate against certain groups in their employment practices.
As an example, if a real estate agent tries to sell a home for less than its fair market value, it could be considered discrimination. A bank may not rent an apartment to a family because of their gender or racial background, even if they have done everything right, or if they have a great credit record. The Fair Housing Act was designed to help those who are subjected to housing discrimination, which in most cases is unintentional, by ensuring that all Americans have the same chances of getting a home, and of getting hired for that job.
For instance, an employer may not hire someone with poor or non-existent credit, or someone who has a history of unemployment or drug abuse, or someone who does not have a good work ethic. Similarly, an employee will be denied the right to be employed if they do not fit the requirements of a particular promotion or assignment.
Because there are laws in place to protect against housing discrimination, a lawsuit or legal action can be brought by someone who has suffered from discrimination, such as someone who has been denied of housing or other housing opportunities, or a person who has suffered a wrongful death due to discrimination. These lawsuits are known as Title VII lawsuits, or disability discrimination suits.
If you believe you have been discriminated against in the housing industry, you should seek the services of a fair housing attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you seek the help of an attorney for the better, as the laws regarding the subject change regularly and can change suddenly. Your attorney will review your case, and he or she will assess whether there may be grounds for a lawsuit. If your attorney finds that there has been discrimination, he or she will file a complaint on your behalf.