Your Rights to Fair Housing

Authored By: Central Alabama Fair Housing Center


Fair housing laws guarantee that you may choose a place to live without fear of discrimination because of your:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Family status (such as having children living with you)
  • Disability

Your fair housing rights are violated when, based on one of these factors, someone prevents you from:

  • Viewing or renting an apartment
  • Viewing or purchasing a home
  • Applying for or obtaining a mortgage loan
  • Buying homeowner's or renter's insurance

Everyone has a Right to Fair Housing

Learn to recognize housing discrimination. Remember that discrimination is rarely obvious. It can be disguised and often occurs with a handshake and a smile. Be suspicious when you hear lines like these:

"I rented that apartment right after you called."

"I'll show you the apartment after I see your green card."

"Our children's building is full."

"I don't really want a ramp and grab bars here."

"We can't seem to make an appointment to show you that house."

"Fill out the application, and someone will get back to you."

"We'll need an extra security deposit for your kids."

"I'm glad you've finished a recovery program, but I still think it's too risky to rent to you."

"Do you think you can afford this neighborhood?"

"I'll need more detailed information before I can show you homes."

"How can I be sure you can pay the rent?"

"The owner just took the house off the market."

"There's a long waiting list for these apartments, but I can get you in if you're nice to me."

"You have to have a job to live here."

If you think someone has violated your rights

Housing discrimination is illegal. If you think your rights have been violated:

  • Keep a record of any meetings and phone calls with the landlord, property manager, real estate agent, loan officer, or insurance agent.
  • Write down what happened and what was said. Save all receipts, applications, business cards, and other documents pertaining to your search for housing, mortgage loans, or home insurance.
  • Call your Alabama area Fair Housing Center

    Central Alabama Fair Housing Center at (334) 263-4663
    Fair Housing Center of Northern Alabama at (205) 324-0111
    Mobile Fair Housing Center at (251) 479-1532

  • Call or write to HUD's Fair Housing Regional Office:

    Atlanta Regional Office of FHEO
    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Five Points Plaza
    40 Marietta Street, 16th floor
    Atlanta, Georgia 30303-2806
    (404) 331-5140
    TTY (404) 730-2654

This information was prepared by the Central Alabama Fair Housing Center.

Reviewed April 2010 offers legal information, not legal advice. We try hard to make sure this website accurately explains your rights and options. However, the site does not apply the law to your personal facts. For this sort of legal advice, you should call a lawyer. To apply for free legal services in Alabama, call the Legal Services Alabama office that is closest to where you live OR call toll-free 1-866-456-4995. You can also apply online at

Last Review and Update: Apr 23, 2010
Back to top