How to File a Housing Discrimination Complaint
Residents may need to file housing discrimination complaints with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) if they feel their rights have been violated.
Each resident should learn how to file a housing discrimination complaint if the Fair Housing Act is violated while looking for new housing or refinancing existing housing.
There are many types of housing discrimination that can take place during any home buying, financing or renting transaction, so residents should learn about their rights before interacting with housing industry professionals.
Learning about housing discrimination rights through the Fair Housing Act is also important for residents who may need to interact with a mortgage lender, home seller, landlord or property manager in the future.
In addition to providing housing counseling, HUD will follow the housing discrimination complaint process after a resident submits a complaint.
Housing discrimination complaints can be made by residents who feel they have been treated unfairly or have been discriminated against during a housing transaction.
To find out more about the types of housing discrimination , filing a complaint with HUD and the housing complaint process , read through the information provided below.
Types of Housing Discrimination
A resident can begin the housing discrimination complaint process with HUD by filing a complaint after he or she has experienced discrimination during a housing-related transaction.
Housing discrimination complaints are warranted if anyone involved in the financing, selling or renting of a home violates the Fair Housing Act.
This includes Section 8 or other government housing as well as private housing opportunities.
Different types of housing discrimination that may cause a resident to file a claim include discrimination due to:
- Race, color or national origin.
- Age, gender or sexual preference.
- Familial status.
- Disability status.
For example, a housing discrimination complaint may be filed if a landlord raises the monthly rent for a couple due to their race or national origin, but does not do so for other prospective tenants.
A complaint about housing discrimination may also be filed by a resident if he or she is denied the opportunity to make an offer on a home because of his or her sexual preference or gender identity.
Additional types of housing discrimination include a mortgage lender refusing to offer information on loan types to a customer because of the religion he or she practices.
If a property manager refuses to rent to a family because it consists of children younger than 18 years of age, then the Fair Housing Act is being violated and the property manager is committing housing discrimination.
The potential tenant can review how to file a housing complaint and inform HUD about the situation.
To avoid committing housing discrimination , landlords and property managers must also agree to reasonable accommodations for potential tenants with disabilities.
A tenant can file a housing discrimination complaint if a landlord refuses to allow for a service dog to live in the building or does not agree to the construction of a wheelchair ramp.
Landlords must also offer disabled tenants access to the same amenities that other tenants are provided
To learn more about the valid reasons for housing discrimination complaints , download our informative guide.
How to File a Housing Discrimination Complaint
The housing discrimination complaint process begins when a resident contacts HUD about a discriminatory incident.
Residents who have learned how to file a housing discrimination complaint can choose to complete the filing online or by contacting HUD directly to speak with a representative.
The online housing complaint filing process is a popular method because a claim can be submitted 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in the privacy of the resident’s home.
When attempting to file a housing discrimination complaint online, a resident has only 45 minutes to complete the screen and submit it HUD.
If he or she cannot complete the mandatory questions on the screen within 45 minutes, then the entry will time out.
Housing discrimination complaints made online that suffer a time-out warning are not submitted to HUD and claimants must re-start the claims for successful submission.
When beginning the housing discrimination complaint process by phone, a claimant is asked for specific details by a HUD representative to successfully make the claim.
No matter what types of housing discrimination were allegedly committed or how the complaints are submitted to HUD, claimants must provide details including:
- Names and contact information.
- Additional points of contact if claimants are unavailable for any reason.
- Discriminatory incidents and the types of housing discrimination
- Brief descriptions of incidents and how claimants were discriminated against.
- The dates of the discrimination incidents.
When reporting a housing discrimination complaint, the claimant must also include the information for the person he or she is reporting the claim against.
Housing discrimination can be committed by an organization, a homeowner, a company, landlord or lender.
Once housing discrimination complaints are submitted to HUD, representatives contact the claimants to receive additional details and to decide if the Fair Housing Act was violated.
Download our free guide for more details about the housing discrimination process as well as other services HUD provides for residents.
The Housing Discrimination Complaint Process
After filing a housing discrimination complaint , HUD contacts the claimant to gather additional information and decide if charges should be pursued.
During the housing discrimination complaint process, HUD speaks with both parties to attempt a conciliation agreement.
If housing discrimination complaints cannot be satisfied with conciliation agreements, then HUD may recommend the case to the Attorney General or a local state agency that holds jurisdiction over the claim.
An investigation and Administrative Hearing may take place to settle the claim or the claimant may file a lawsuit if desired.