Access to housing remains persistently unequal for all sorts of people – including families with children, same-sex couples, transgender people, people with disabilities, racial and ethnic minorities, and housing voucher holders (e.g. Section 8).
Coyle Browne Law protects individuals from illegal discrimination by housing providers based on any of the following: Age (40 and older), ancestry, national origin, citizenship, immigration status, mental disability, physical disability, familial status, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, military or veteran status, primary language, race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or source of income.
California law prohibits anyone engaged in the housing business – landlords, real estate agents, home sellers, builders, mortgage lenders, and so on – from discriminating against applicants, tenants or homeowners for any of these reasons.
It is also illegal for cities, counties, or other local government agencies to make zoning or land-use decisions, or have policies that discriminate against individuals for any of these reasons.
If discrimination for any of these reasons is a motivating factor, the following actions can be unlawful:
Cancellation or termination of a sale or rental agreement; denial of a home loan or homeowner’s insurance; offering inferior terms, conditions, privileges, facilities or services in connection with the housing accommodation; overly restrictive rules limiting the activities of daily life for families with children, including where children are allowed to play; policies, practices, terms, or conditions that result in unequal access to housing or housing-related services; refusal to make reasonable accommodations in housing rules, policies, practices, or services where necessary to afford a disabled person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling; refusal to negotiate for the sale, rental, or lease of housing; refusal to permit, at a disabled tenant’s expense, reasonable modifications when necessary to accommodate a disability; refusal to sell, rent, or lease rooms, apartments, condos or houses to protected individuals; representation that a housing accommodation is not available for inspection, sale, or rental when it is in fact available; retaliation against someone because they reported discrimination or other unlawful activity; or sexual harassment involving unwanted sexual advances or requiring sexual favors for housing rights or privileges.
Remedies for victims of housing discrimination include: recovery of out-of-pocket losses, damages for emotional distress, civil penalties or punitive damages, attorney’s fees, an injunction prohibiting the unlawful practice, or access to housing that the landlord denied you.
If you have been discriminated against, Coyle Browne Law is available for free consultations to investigate and determine whether we can offer to represent you. To begin this process, please contact us by calling 800-421-2594 or emailing email@example.com.
While not required for an initial consultation, it is helpful to prepare in advance:
The specific facts and any records about the incident(s), including the name and contact information of the person or entity you believe harmed you (if known);
The names and contact information of any witnesses (if known); and
Copies of any documents or other evidence related to your situation.