Proving Discrimination In Housing: What You Need To Do

11 June 2017
 Categories: Law, Blog


If you think that you have recently been the victim of discrimination when you tried to rent an apartment, see a discrimination attorney, like the Law Offices of Jeffrey Needle. Then, start collecting evidence that could prove your case. Here is what you need to do.

Collect Data on Current Residents

If there are residents in an apartment building, find out how many of them fall into the same category as yourself. If you claim racial discrimination, look for tenants that are the same race as you. If it is sexual orientation, see if there are any other gay or lesbian persons or couples living in the building. If it is ageism, take a poll on the number of people in the building who are your age versus older or younger people.

Collect Data on Former Residents

If you can, find some tenants who lived in the building prior to the current residents and add them to the data. This helps show a trend of possible discrimination based on what previous tenants were allowed to live in the building and which ones were not. It helps to have data that shows a pattern because the pattern would support your discrimination claim.

Call about the Apartment and Then Ask to See It

Call about the available apartment. Use a different name different than the one you used to introduce yourself when you viewed the apartment in person. If you are treated warmly over the phone but then ignored or rebuffed when you show up to sign a lease, that may support your claim.

Ask Housing Authorities about Any Complaints 

Housing authorities are responsible for granting property owners the zoning rights to house multiple families and people on the same property. You can check with your city's housing authority to see if there have been any complaints against the owner or landlord/lady. Even one complaint against them for discrimination could be a red flag.

Take What You Have to Your Lawyer

Discrimination complaints are difficult to prove, since they are "he said/she said" cases. Also, it is difficult to prove because one's actions are open to interpretation. While you may feel that a landlord/lady discriminated against you, it may just be that after you left, a previous visitor agreed to take the apartment. This does happen, so you will need to make sure that that is not the case before you file a lawsuit.