Landlords, realtors and property managers are prohibited under California law to discriminate against anybody on the basis of color, race, sex, religion, national origin, age, marital status and more.
A landlord is not allowed to …
A landlord cannot refuse to rent to someone due to these factors, or claim that there are no housing units available. He cannot offer inferior rental terms or remove privileges or services from any tenant. Harassment, eviction or threats against these tenants are also prohibited under law.
I have been discriminated against. What can I do?
You must be able to show that you were treated differently because of your membership to a protected class or that the landlord follows different policies or practices for different people.
You can then file a complaint in civil court or with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
- The DFEH will investigate and serve the complaint on the landlord.
- The landlord will have a chance to state his case. If the investigation finds that there was no violation, the case will be closed.
- If there was a violation of the law, a formal process will be followed by the DFEH and it will be explored how to resolve the issue.
- If reconciliation fails, the case will go to court.
How would this help me?
If your claim is successful, state law provides for an assortment of remedies for victims of housing bias.
- You can get an injunction prohibiting the unlawful practice and access to the denied housing.
- You can recover out of pocket losses and attorney’s fees, as well as damages for emotional distress. Punitive damages can also be awarded in extreme cases of discrimination.
You can be a landlord accused of discrimination. Or, you can be the tenant discriminated against. We can help you decide on a course of action, help protect your legal rights.