It’s that time again and you may find yourself packing, lifting, and straining your back. Whatever your reasons are for moving, there’s one universal truth – it’s not easy. And sometimes it’s even more difficult when you’re not able to get that apartment or house you wanted so badly, and you never knew why. Unfortunately, you can’t always control the prejudices of others. Housing discrimination exists and is illegal. The Fair Housing Act protects you from being discriminated against based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, familial status or disability.
If you’re currently looking for available housing, keep your eyes open for subtle phrases and words that attempt to steer. Most newspapers usually screen and avoid printing ads that discriminate; however sometimes they’re not so obvious or your search may extend to online sites such as backpage.com or craigslist.com. Some subtle phrases to keep an eye out for are “no children,” “active community,” and “a short walk to church.” And perhaps you just keep finding yourself on the rejection end with one door closing after another.
Here are some things to watch out for before (or after) your next viewing:
You’re told that…
1. The unit or house was just rented or sold right after you called, yet it’s still being listed days or weeks later.
2. Your kids won’t like it in this neighborhood or the apartment complex isn’t equipped for children.
3. The complex isn’t insured for people with disabilities or there’s a more disabled friendly community elsewhere.
What can you do?
• Write down every detail during or immediately after your experience (e.g., names, dates, addresses, phone numbers, etc.)
• Save all correspondences (e.g., e-mails, letters, and voicemails)
And file a complaint as soon as possible!