Although civil rights laws passed in the 1960’s prohibit housing discrimination, it is still a pernicious practice nationwide. Under the Federal Housing Act (FHA) and The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), it is illegal to discriminate in the selling, renting, financing of houses, or any other housing-related transaction. The LAD applies to owners, real estate agents, brokers, and employees.
Regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, nationality, family status, pregnancy, source of income, or marital status, residents have a right to obtain fair housing. Included in the list of persons protected are those with physical or mental disabilities, such as HIV or AIDS. Antidiscrimination legislation also prohibits landlords, sellers, and realtors from claiming a property is unavailable, whether for purchase, rent, or show when it is actually available.
New Jersey State Law also makes it illegal for landlords to refuse to rent to someone based on their source of lawful income, which includes alimony and child support, earned income, social security, and family gifts. Tenants that rely on financial assistance from federal programs are entitled to equal rent. Both federal and state laws outline specific circumstances that constitute as discriminatory behavior. For example, it is illegal for landlords to charge more rent or additional fees for a tenant with a registered guide dog. Landlords cannot refuse rent to families with children, except under certain circumstances.
If you have been a victim of housing discrimination, you can rely on our attorneys to protect your rights. Call Steven Fox today at (732) 422-1000.