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Parents With Kids: How To Know If You're Experiencing Housing Discrimination

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According to the Fair Housing Act, landlords and housing associations cannot discriminate against familial status, and that includes families with children. Many parents, however, do not know how far the law goes to protect them, and they deal with discrimination daily, making it difficult for them to find a suitable housing arrangement for their family.

If you have a child and are currently renting or looking to a rent home, here are some common forms of discrimination that landlords might use to prevent you from living in their property.

1. Noise restrictions

A common thing that landlords sometimes do to discourage family renters is to make "quiet hours" and then complain that the tenant isn't complying because of loud children. Property owners cannot make restrictions that prohibit normal noise levels from children. For example, you cannot get evicted from your home because your baby cries in the night or because children play loudly in the yard or in the community area. 

2. Restricted play areas

Another way to make a complex "un-family friendly" is to say that children cannot come into community spaces. For example, if the apartment complex has a community pool, there can be no restriction about children not being permitted to use the pool. However, policy can dictate that children below a certain age need supervision in areas that could be unsafe. All family members, however, should have access to all apartment amenities. 

3. Family units

All available rental units should be available to all applicants. Landlords cannot turn down your application because they have no more family units available. Families cannot be segregated to one area or one type of housing complex. Any advertised or open property should be open to any application, and the reason for denying the application cannot be because children are present. 

4. Age limitations

Age limitations are another common, but illegal, method of barring children from a property. For example, a rental advertisement may say, "Looking for empty nester couple to rent basement suite." This implies that no children are allowed, advertising for a certain age. Or a landlord may ask for no children under age ten. However, unless the property in question is a registered seniors community, there can be no age requirement for renters with dependents. 

5. Preventing renters

You might also see an application denied because you are pregnant or because you are a single parent. This is open discrimination. You can consult a law office like Law Offices Of Harry G Lasser to help you access the accommodations you need for your family.