A substantial body
of federal, state, and even local law is
devoted to discrimination in the renting
of housing. Landlords may not engage in
discrimination based on race, ethnicity,
gender, sexual orientation, or family
size. Economic discrimination is a
legitimate method to determine the ability
of prospective tenants to pay the rent.
But the source of the tenants’ income
(e.g., government support) is not a
legitimate basis to deny housing. If improper
discrimination can be proven, judgments
and settlements for hundreds of
thousands of dollars are not unusual.
The laws allow for the recovery of
attorneys’ fees and punitive damages.
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