The Law & Your Rights

10 Things Everyone Should Know About Housing Discrimination:

1. Discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, disability, marital status, age, sexual orientation and military status are illegal in New York State.

2. Discrimination is illegal in real estate rentals, sales, appraisals, mortgage lending and homeowners insurance.

3. Housing-related harassment based on any of the above criteria is illegal.

4. Landlords must allow families with children to rent apartments and cannot restrict them to one floor of a building or to one building in a complex.

5. Discriminatory zoning and land-use actions are prohibited by fair housing laws.

6. Landlords must allow persons with disabilities to make reasonable modifications to a dwelling in order to use it, such as adding a ramp, railing, grab bars, etc.

7. New multi-family housing must be accessible to persons with disabilities.

8. A family is usually allowed to have at least two persons per bedroom, so that means a family of four can rent a 2 bedroom apartment and a family of 6 may rent a three bedroom apartment.

9. Landlords must make reasonable accommodations in their policies for persons with disabilities, such as allowing a guide dog or a companion animal, even in a no pets building, or allowing personal care aides to have a key to a building, or assigning parking spaces.

10. Housing discrimination costs people their freedom to choose where to live and conduct business.

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