Housing Discrimination

Housing Discrimination

Housing Discrimination

Housing Discrimination

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) protects people from discrimination in the process of renting or buying a home, obtaining a mortgage, seeking housing assistance, or engaging in other housing-related activities.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing due to:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Familial Status
  • Disability


What Types of Housing Are Covered by the Fair Housing Act?

The Fair Housing Act covers most types of housing. Exemptions may include owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units; single-family houses sold or rented by the owner without the use of an agent; and housing operated by religious organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.


What Is Prohibited Under the Fair Housing Act?

It is illegal, in the sale or rental of housing, to engage in any of the following actions

  • based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin:
  • Refusing to rent or sell housing
  • Refusing to negotiate for housing
  • Otherwise making housing unavailable
  • Setting unequal terms, conditions or privileges for the sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Providing one person with different housing services or facilities than another
  • Falsely denying that housing is available for inspection
  • Making, printing or publishing any notice, statement or advertisement with respect
  • to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation or discrimination
  • Imposing different sales prices or rental charges for the sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Using different qualification criteria or applications, or sale or rental standards or
    procedures, such as income standards, application requirements, application fees, credit analyses, sale or rental approval procedures or other requirements
  • Evicting a tenant or a tenant’s guest
  • Harassing a person
  • Failing to perform or delaying performance of maintenance or repairs
  • Limiting the privileges, services or facilities of a dwelling
  • Discouraging the purchase or rental of a dwelling
  • Assigning a person to a particular building or neighborhood or section of a building or neighborhood
  • Persuading, or trying to persuade, homeowners to sell their homes by suggesting that people of a protected class are about to move into the neighborhood (blockbusting)
  • Refusing to provide homeowners insurance, or discriminating in the terms or conditions of providing homeowners insurance
  • Denying access to or membership in any multiple listing services or real estate brokers’ organizations

Tennessee tenants are legally entitled to rental property that meets basic structural, health and safety standards and is in good repair.


Evictions – During an Eviction Process a Landlord Cannot:

  • Threaten to evict without written 30-day notice
  • Lock tenants out of the apartment or home
  • Have the lights, water or gas cut off
  • Take away any of the appliances that came with the apartment or home
  • Remove tenant belongings
  • Threaten the tenant or any of their belongings

Please click here to obtain more information about renters’ rights: 


Reporting Housing Discrimination

If you believe you have been discriminated against and would like more information on your right to Fair Housing, please call:
Tennessee Fair Housing Council(615) 874-2344
Tennessee Human Rights Commission (615) 741-5825


To file a housing discrimination claim online, visit:
HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO)