Landlord and Tenant Act
Every landlord and tenant who lives in the United States of America is protected by some sort of landlord and tenant act. These laws were promulgated to provide some relief to both landlords and tenants from some of the abuses they had traditionally had to deal with. These laws give protections for certain basic rights and are easily enforceable by any local jurisdiction.
Superseding the landlord and tenant act of any given city or state, are the federal laws which govern certain statutes relating to rental units. These fall under the umbrella of something called the Fair Housing Act which is a federal law which prohibits landlords from willfully discriminating against any prospective tenant based on race, religion, sex or disability. Enacted in 1968 under the Civil Rights Act, these laws are similar to other human rights laws in the United States and are taken very seriously by the courts. Anyone who feels they have been discriminated against by any landlord may lodge a complaint with the property overseeing authority and it will be investigated. If the landlord is found guilty of having discriminated, they will be fined. In some rare cases, they can even be sent to jail.
It is very easy for a person to file a complaint against a landlord if they believe they have been discriminated against. Instructions for doing so are clearly spelled out on the Housing and Urban Development’s website. It is possible to fill out the complaint form right on the website. They also give options for filing a complaint over the telephone or printing the form and mailing it to an address in Washington, DC.
In your complaint you will be required to give the address of the person about whom you are complaining, the address of the housing unit you were attempting to either rent or purchase, the date the incident happened and a brief description of what occurred. Upon receipt of your written complaint, an investigation will ensue.
In the United States, the landlord and tenant act clearly states that no landlord may engage in any discriminatory practices when it comes to renting a housing unit. They are also prohibited from falsely claiming that a unit has already been rented in order to avoid renting it to someone against whom they wish to discriminate. In addition, they are not permitted to set different rental conditions or criteria for different prospective tenants simply because they wish to discriminate against one particular potential renter.
Furthermore, all landlords are prohibited from setting different rental criteria based on their desire to keep a certain tenant from renting their unit.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to thousands of disabled persons in the United States is the way in which this legislation protects them from being discriminated against by landlords. A disability is defined as something that seriously limits a person in one ore more major life activities. This means either walking, talking, breathing, hearing, seeing, caring for oneself, learning and working. Addictions are considered to be disabilities, too, under this landlord and tenant act legislation.