The North Carolina Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminatein housing because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental handicaps, or family status (families with children). The law applies to the sale, rental and financing of residential housing. Apartments, houses, mobile homes and even vacant lots to be used for housing are covered by the Fair Housing Act. With a few exceptions, anyone who has control over residential property and real estate financing must obey the law. This includes rental managers, property owners, real estate agents, landlords, banks, developers, builders and individual homeowners who are selling or renting their property.
The law prohibits the following acts based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap or family status:
- Refusing to sell or rent housing
- Lying about the availability of housing; evicting someone from housing; discriminating in the terms or conditions of housing, such as rent, security deposits, house sale prices, the use of facilities or financing.
Examples of housing discrimination:
- A black person answers a newspaper ad for an apartment. The landlord tells him the apartment has already been rented. It turns out that the apartment has not really been rented, and the landlord later rents it to a white applicant who answers the same ad.
- A real estate agent tries to persuade someone not to buy or rent a house in a certain neighborhood because of the racial makeup of the neighborhood. This is called steering.
- A landlord refuses to rent an apartment to a man because he is mentally retarded.
- A newspaper ad says that housing is available for "white, Christian" applicants.
- A landlord evicts a white tenant from her mobile home because her black friends visit her there.
- A resident manager refuses to rent an apartment to a family with children, will only allow families with children to live in certain buildings or on certain floors, or charges families higher security deposits.
- A landlord checks the credit records of all black and Hispanic applicants and uses small credit problems as an excuse to refuse to rent apartments to them. It turns out that the landlord does not always check white applicants' credit records or overlooks small credit problems in their records.
- A property manager refuses to rent an apartment to a single woman, but he will rent the apartment to a single man
- A bank refuses to lend money to a house buyer because the house he wants to buy is in a minority neighborhood. This is called redlining.
- A landlord refuses to rent an apartment to a blind woman because she has a seeing eye dog.
- A rental manager charges minority tenants a larger security deposit, or higher rent, than white tenants.
- A female tenant and her family are evicted from their apartment because the woman refuses the landlord's sexual advances.
If you feel you've been discriminated against, contact us immediately!