The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin in all housing transactions. In 2020, the National Fair Housing Alliance reported that 5.99% of all fair housing complaints filed the previous year involved discrimination on the basis of national origin.
Under the FHA, it is unlawful for a landlord, property manager, real estate agent, or property owner to treat someone differently because of their national origin. National origin includes birthplace, ethnicity, ancestry, culture, and language. The FHA may be violated even if a landlord does not know a person’s particular national origin or is mistaken about a person’s national origin.
If a landlord treats someone differently because he or she speaks with an accent or speaks a language other than English, it may constitute national origin discrimination. Similarly, selectively enforcing language-related housing policies may also violate the FHA.
Discrimination on the basis of national origin may look like:
- Discouraging or recommending certain communities or housing units based on a prospective tenant’s origin
- Refusing to rent to prospective tenants because they do not speak English
- Increasing rent or charging a higher security deposit because a tenant was born in a foreign country
Have you experienced discrimination? Call HOPE at 630-690-6500