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Who Is Protected By
Fair Housing Law

Discrimination Protections.

Federal housing law protects nine different identities against discrimination in housing transactions. This means no matter where you live in the United States, it is illegal to discriminate against a person because of one or more of these identities.


The examples listed below don't include all the ways discrimination happens. If you feel like discrimination has happened to you because of one or more of the identities below, please contact our office.


Race & Skin Color.

Fair housing law prevents any landlord, realtor, home-seller, mortgage lender, and others from treating a person unfairly because of their race or the color of their skin.


For example:

  • Landlords cannot lie and say housing isn't available (when it actually is) simply because a prospective renter is Black.

  • A lender cannot offer you a subprime loan simply because your skin is brown.

  • Property managers cannot refuse maintenance requests from a tenant simply because the tenant is a Black woman.

  • A realtor cannot refuse to work with a Black man because he is in an interracial relationship with a white woman.

Familial Status.

Familial status refers to any adult resident who has anyone under the age of 18 living with them. This could refer to biological children, adopted children, grandchildren, foster children, or other types of relations. 


  • You cannot be denied housing because you have a child

  • You cannot be evicted merely because you have a child

  • You cannot be evicted or given a non-renewal notice because you are expecting a child

  • In apartment complexes, people with children cannot be restricted to one specific area of a building or complex

  • Housing providers are prohibited from advertising that children are not allowed

  • Lease policies and/or rules cannot unfairly target children




The number one basis of fair housing violations that we receive is related to discrimination because of a person’s disability and accessibility.

Discrimination because of someone's disability could be:

  • Charging a higher security deposit because a tenant uses a wheelchair.

  • Refusing a renter's request to keep a service animal or support animal in the home.

  • Threatening to evict a renter because they have an in-home health aide staying with them.

Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation.

Since 2020, protections for people on the basis of their gender identity and sexual orientation exist wherever you live in Kentucky (and the U.S.). Ways that residents may experience discrimination because of their gender identity or sexual orientation may include:

  • A landlord who evicts a tenant because the tenant is a man in a relationship with another man.

  • A property manager creates a hostile environment because they refuse to use a resident's correct name and/or pronouns.

  • A trans resident who lives in an apartment building and is the target of transphobic slurs from the neighbor across the hall.



Every person has the right to express and practice their own religion in their home, regardless of what that religion is. A person may experience discrimination because of their religious beliefs if:

  • A leasing agent refuses to give a woman a rental application because she wears a hijab.

  • A realtor tries to steer a couple away from living in specific neighborhoods because they are Jewish.

Sex & Gender

Discrimination on the basis of someone’s sex (if they are male or female) has been protected since the early 1980s.

Some fair housing issues that women are more likely to experience include (but are not limited to):

  • Unwanted sexual/romantic advances from a landlord

  • Being a survivor of interpersonal violence while renting a home

  • Having a mortgage application denied because they are pregnant

A man of East Asian descent with long hair holds an infant of East Asian descent while two of them are laughing

National Origin.

Whether someone is a newly arrived immigrant, a second-generation American, or someone living in the U.S. for work, fair housing law protects you against discrimination. Discrimination because of someone's national origin can include things like:

  • A local housing authority not providing translations or interpretation to a tenant who does not speak English well or at all.

  • A property manager who gives a notice of lease violation to an immigrant because of cooking smells coming from their apartment, but not giving similar notices to tenants with cooking smells associated with traditionally American food.

  • Refusing to show an apartment to a potential renter because they speak English with an accent.

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