Fair Housing Protection
Examples of Unlawful Discrimination
Unlawful housing discrimination can take a variety of forms. Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and Unruh Civil Rights Act, it is unlawful for a landlord, managing agent, real estate broker, or salesperson to discriminate against any person because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions related to them, as well as gender and perception of gender), sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, disability, medical condition, or age in any of the following ways:
- Refusing to sell, rent, or lease
- Refusing to negotiate for a sale, rental, or lease
- Representing that housing is not available for inspection, sale, or rental when it is, in fact, available
- Otherwise denying or withholding housing accommodations
- Providing inferior housing terms, conditions, privileges, facilities, or services
- Harassing a person in connection with housing accommodations
- Cancelling or terminating a sale or rental agreement
- Providing segregated or separated housing accommodations
- Refusing to permit a person with a disability, at the person with a disability’s own expense, to make reasonable modifications to a rental unit that are necessary to allow the person with a disability “full enjoyment of the premises”
- As a condition of making the modifications, the landlord may require the person with a disability to enter into an agreement to restore the interior of the rental unit to its previous condition at the end of the tenancy (excluding reasonable wear and tear).
- Refusing to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when necessary to allow a person with a disability “equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling” (for example, refusing to allow a person with a disability’s companion or service dog)
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing investigates housing discrimination complaints. The department’s Housing Enforcement unit can be reached at 800-884-1684. You can learn about the department’s complaint process.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enforces the federal fair housing law, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, national origin, familial status, and handicap (disability). To contact HUD and file a complaint, visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website.
Legal Aid Organizations
Central California Legal Services provides free legal assistance to low-income families and individuals in the San Joaquin Valley. Contact Central California Legal Services at 800-675- 8001 or visit the Central California Legal Services website.
Fair Housing Council of Central California (FHCCC) serves the racially and ethnically diverse, multi-cultural region of California’s great Central Valley. FHCCC investigates complaints of housing discrimination and predatory lending, offers mediation, counseling, advocacy, research, and fair housing training and workshops for consumers as well as housing providers. FHCCC is a professional, non-profit, civil rights organization dedicated to the elimination of discrimination in housing and the expansion of housing opportunities for all persons. You may contact the Fresno office at 559-244-2950. Also, see the Fair Housing Council of Central California website to view additional fair housing materials.