Looking for a new place to rent in New Jersey may fill you with uncertainty and stress. Finding out that a landlord has denied your application because of your race may only exacerbate the frustration you feel.
Knowing what housing discrimination looks like can help you protect your civil rights. Regardless of your ethnicity, you deserve a fair shot at renting a place you qualify for.
The Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act protects you from racial discrimination. The original act, enacted in 1968, sought to protect groups of people vulnerable to discrimination. The FHA applies to all aspects of purchasing or renting property including your ability to secure financial lending.
If you experience discrimination at the hands of a landlord, you have the right to report your concerns to The Housing and Urban Development Department. If found to have violated your civil rights, the landlord in question may face serious legal consequences. In such cases, you may consider collaborating with an attorney to collect compensation for the hardships the discrimination caused.
Examples of discrimination
Sometimes discrimination is not as visible as you may think. According to The United States Department of Justice, some examples of housing discrimination include the following:
- Deception about housing availability
- Steering your interests to “race-friendly” areas
- Refusal to approve lending despite your qualification
- Denying you a unit based on your race
Housing discrimination is a serious issue and one that can create stress, angst and hardship for you and your family. If you suspect discrimination played a role in your inability to qualify for a rental, you may want to hire an attorney to help you investigate.