The Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are jointly responsible for enforcing the Federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of:
- National origin
- Familial status
- Disability (sensory, mental, or physical)
- Use of a guide or service animal by a person with a disability when related to housing
- Click here for more information regarding service animals
In addition, Washington state prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of:
- Marital status
- HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C status
- Sexual orientation (including gender identity)
- Veteran/military status
Your rights and responsibilities
All inhabitants of Washington have certain rights and responsibilities defined in the Law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.60). This law protects freedom from discrimination at work, in housing, in receiving public accommodation, or when seeking credit and insurance.
Landlords also must comply with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in renting housing to individuals with physical disabilities. Most apartments built after 1991 must meet ADA requirements. For structures built before 1991, the landlord is required to make“reasonable accommodation,” which means the landlord must allow the tenant (at tenant’s expense) to make modifications to the unit to meet his/her needs. At the conclusion of the rental period, the tenant must return the unit to its original condition, at the landlord’s discretion. Similarly, a landlord must allow a service animal in the unit of a visually impaired tenant even when the lease contains a “no pets” clause.
Have you experienced fair housing discrimination? Click here to learn how to file a complaint.