An individual’s home should always be their safe haven. Nobody should ever be discriminated against when it comes to finding a home, but alas, this does happen. Whether it’s renting or purchasing a home, individuals and families seeking housing have protection under the Fair Housing Act, and it’s crucial to understand your rights so that you’ll be able to easily recognize possible signs of discrimination. According to the laws of the Fair Housing Act, the following types of discrimination when it comes to housing decisions and certain types of activities is illegal:
- Ethnic background
- Family status
There are several examples that identify how someone may find themselves being discriminated against when it comes to housing. For example, if their rental application was turned down for a questionable or unclear reason, it’s possible that the applicant was discriminated against. Landlords often take various factors into consideration when making decisions regarding rental applications, such as requiring certain income minimums (to ensure monthly rent can be paid), good credit, and no criminal background. These are things that are typically considered to be reasonable requirements. If an applicant does not meet these requirements, that’s one thing. However, if they check all the boxes and yet they’re still not approved for the rental they are applying for, it’s possible there is something else going on that is worth investigating. This is just one of the many examples of how discrimination can occur when it comes to housing: being told that exclusive terms and rules conditions apply, only being permitted to live in a specific building (or specific part of the building) of a rental complex, or being singled out and prohibited to use clubhouse amenities are all also possibilities for discrimination.
The Fair Housing Act also applies to purchasing a home as well, as some people may have difficulties buying a specific home because they are potentially being discriminated against. For example, a real estate agent may refuse to work with someone based solely on the color of their skin, or they may lie about whether a certain home is still available. In some cases, a real estate agent may discriminate against a homebuyer and only show them certain areas and neighborhoods, despite the buyer’s location preferences.
When it comes to being discriminated against and purchasing a home, this can also extend into mortgage lending, too. Just like when it comes to approving rental applications, mortgage lenders enforce certain criteria when it comes to approving potential borrowers and determining how much of a loan they are eligible for. There are certain reasonable factors that are strongly considered, such as income and debt, but there are other factors that should never be taken into consideration. If you believe your mortgage application was turned down for an unfair reason and that you were strictly discriminated against, you may be eligible to pursue monetary compensation in a lawsuit.
While there are certainly more subtle ways that people may find themselves victims of discrimination when it comes to housing, in other situations, there may be no question about what’s going on. For example, some people may constantly endure harassment from their landlords because of their gender or race. Others may be evicted from their homes for no reason other than their ethnicity or religion. This inexcusable behavior is prohibited under the Fair Housing Act, and you may be able to pursue monetary compensation in a fair housing lawsuit.
Additional protection may also be available in other situations, too. For example, those with certain disabilities who are discriminated against may also be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You also be protected under additional laws if you live in federal housing and you believe you have been a victim of discrimination.
Determining whether you have been discriminated against when it comes to buying or renting housing is not always easy. In some cases, it’s extremely obvious and you have enough evidence to prove it. Other times, you may even be questioning it yourself, without knowing with absolute certainty. However, if you do feel like something is not quite right, it may be worth taking the next step.
Your attorney can help determine whether a certain situation qualifies as discrimination and if so, he or she may be willing to represent you in a fair housing lawsuit. Whether you’re already working with a law firm on this type of case, or you’re in the beginning stages of the process, you may be looking for ways to receive money as quickly as possible.
While it’s not ideal to rush the lawsuit process, there is another option that may be available to you: pre-settlement funding. At USClaims, we offer pre-settlement funding, which is also frequently referred to as a lawsuit advance. Contact USClaims today to learn more and get started!