The Discrimination Complaint Letter: Fair Housing is Your Right By Law

Or Use Our Pre-Written Discrimination Complaint Letter

  • Simple input & options selection
  • Designed for ease of use
  • Inclusive and comprehensive
  • Addresses for your state

Do it yourself, or use our pre-made letter. It’s ready to go, just input your specific details and send it off. Say no to discrimination and yes to equal opportunity.

A Letter Reporting Discrimination By a Landlord, Bank, or Real Estate Agent

If you’ve experienced housing or rental discrimination by a landlord, bank, real estate agent or broker, you need to write a discrimination complaint letter immediately. This can not only alleviate your situation but also takes a stand against a practice that happens all to frequently. The numbers will surprise you. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, over 2 million instances of housing discrimination happen in the United States annually, and fewer than 1 percent of the victims of this discriminatory behavior ever file complaints even though every state has a Fair Housing Office dedicated to help such people.

Federal laws (The Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.) are in place that protect purchasers, renters and lessees from discrimination based on race, color, sex, family status (families with children), religion, national origin, or disability. If after attempting to buy or rent a home or apartment you feel you’ve been the victim of discriminatory conduct, you can, and should, file a fair housing complaint letter. We’ve taken the work out of what needs to be in this letter so just follow all our instructions below, or if you’d like you can use the HomeTitan pre-written Discrimination Letter >

Who the Fair Housing Laws Protect

Landlords, realtors, sellers, banks and brokers specifically when deciding whom to sell to, rent to or to finance the purchase of a home, are not allowed to decline an application for rent or sale or financing or discriminate (in the manners listed in the next section) for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Race of the prospective tenant or buyer
  • Ethnicity of the prospective tenant or buyer
  • If the prospective tenant/buyer has a disability
  • Religion of the prospective tenant or buyer
  • Familial status of the prospective tenant or buyer
  • National origin of the prospective tenant or buyer
  • The tenant or buyer’s color
  • The sex of the tenant or buyer

What the Fair Housing Laws Protect

The Fair Housing laws protect the right of each home or rental unit seeker and provide for equal opportunity in the purchase, sale, rental, leasing, financing, insuring and advertising of housing. When based upon the reasons listed above the following discriminatory housing actions are prohibited under the Fair Housing Act:

  • Refusing or denying to rent and/or discussing the terms of renting to rent
  • Refusing or denying to sell housing
  • Refusing to permit an inspection
  • Denying property insurance
  • Denying that housing is available when is actually is
  • Showing apartments or homes only in certain neighborhoods
  • Conducting appraisals of property in a discriminatory manner
  • Intimidating someone when they have tried to use their fair housing rights (including retaliation or threats of retaliation)
  • Setting different lease terms and conditions for a sale or a rental
  • Offering different housing privileges, services or facilities
  • Refusing to provide information about mortgage loans, denying mortgage loans, or imposing different terms or conditions on mortgage loans
  • Advertisements that indicates housing preferences or limitations
  • Imposing different terms for loans for purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing, or maintaining a home, or loans secured by housing
  • Refusing to renew a lease
  • Providing false information concerning the availability of housing
  • Failing to provide housing in an accessible manner
  • Any other kind of harassment, coercion, or intimidation of a tenant and keeping them from enjoying or exercising their rights under the act

Things To Prepare

If you feel this has happened to you the more information you have documented the better your chances of success will be. If possible follow this list in order to prove clearly that discriminatory practices have occurred:

  • Record the situation in detail. Write down the names of the individuals, companies, or organizations involved and their details; addresses, phone numbers, time of occurrence, and anyone who can verify your claims (if possible).
  • Record the conversations you had with these people
  • Find and gather documents that may be relevant such as advertisements, emails, letters, or forms.
  • If possible find someone who didn’t receive that treatment from the landlord, company, or organization involved and who would not fall in the categories listed above (disability, different religion, etc.)

The Basics of the Discrimination Complaint Letter

There are 5 specific questions you need to answer in this letter:

  1. How were you discriminated against? Describe  in a precise manner in order to allow the reviewers to easily evaluate your situation. State in one sentence the main issue:  being refused to view houses in certain neighborhoods, told that housing wasn’t available in a certain complex, not allowed to renew your lease, etc. Then briefly provide the details.
  2. Why do you feel you were discriminated against by the landlord, real estate agent, company, organization, or broker?
  3. State specifically who it was that discriminated against you: the landlord of the building, the real estate agent who was showing you homes, a broker, a company, an owner, etc.
  4. When, specific dates and times if possible, did the discrimination occur and is it ongoing?
  5. Where did the discrimination happen? Was it in a rental unit or home? Did it happen at the bank or a real estate agent’s office? Did it happen at a lending institution?

Answer these questions and write using professional business formatting and style according to the layout that follows. Remember to use the right tone and details that indicate you’ve done your homework on the law and have the facts and evidence to support your claim. And again, you can always use our pre-written Notice of Discrimination Letter if you’re having difficulties. In this interactive letter (and below) we’ve also provided the addresses of the offices in each state that you need to mail the letter to. To verify it’s been received so that you can follow up accordingly, we recommend  sending this certified mail, return receipt requested.

The Layout & Structure of a Discrimination Complaint Letter

The Specific Discrimination Details + Business Formatting + Professional Tone = SUCCESS

  • Letter Head
  • Certified Mail Return Receipt
  • Today’s Date
  • The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) Address
  • Introduction: Purpose of letter (e.g. discrimination due to: race, religion, disability, national origin, sex, color, familial status)
  • Who was responsible for the discrimination? (e.g. housing broker, bank attendant, real estate agent, landlord, etc.)
  • Where did/does the discrimination take place? (e.g. single family home, mobile housing, a lending institution, etc.)
  • When the event occurred, or is it an ongoing situation?
  • How were you discriminated against? (e.g. refused a house visit, denied a home loan, lied to about housing availability, etc,)
  • Your contact information
  • Signature

There’s a reason why strong laws are in place against housing discrimination; it happens all too frequently and deprives individuals and families of equal opportunities. Please write a letter using the format and instructions above to the address at the bottom of the page for your state.

If you’d like, we’re always here to help with our own letters. It’s just a step away from you, and a stamp away from having your state take action on your behalf.

Try The HomeTitan Pre-Written Letter Concerning Discrimination

Do it yourself with the clear instructions above or use the letter we’ve crafted that has been tested to be thorough and hits all the required points. Just choose your state and get going!


ADDRESSES FOR HOUSING DISCRIMINATION LETTER

Find your state below and mail your letter to the address associated Fair Housing office.

Connecticut | Maine | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | Rhode Island | Vermont New Jersey | New York
Boston Regional Office of FHEO
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr.
Federal Building
10 Causeway Street, Room 321
Boston, Massachusetts 02222-1092
(617) 994-8300
1-800-827-5005
TTY (617) 565-5453
New York Regional Office of FHEO
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
26 Federal Plaza, Room 3532
New York, New York 10278-0068
(212) 542-7519
1-800-496-4294
TTY (212) 264-0927
Delaware | District of Columbia | Maryland | Pennsylvania | Virginia | West Virginia Alabama | The Caribbean | Florida | Georgia | Kentucky | Mississippi |
North Carolina | South Carolina | Tennessee
Philadelphia Regional Office of FHEO
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
The Wanamaker Building
100 Penn Square East, 12th Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107-3380
(215) 861-7646
1-888-799-2085
TTY (215) 656-3450
Atlanta Regional Office of FHEO
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Five Points Plaza
40 Marietta Street, 16th Floor
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-2806
(404) 331-5140
1-800-440-8091
TTY (404) 730-2654
Illinois | Indiana | Michigan | Minnesota | Ohio | Wisconsin Arkansas | Louisiana | New Mexico | Oklahoma |Texas
Chicago Regional Office of FHEO
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building
77 West Jackson Boulevard, Room 2101
Chicago, Illinois 60604-3507
(312) 353-7776 ext. 2453
1-800-765-9372
TTY (312) 353-7143
Fort Worth Regional Office of FHEO
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
801 Cherry Street, Unit #45
Suite 2500
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
(817) 978-5900
1-800-669-9777
TTY (817) 978-5595
For Iowa | Kansas | Missouri | Nebraska Colorado | Montana | North Dakota | South Dakota | Utah | Wyoming
Kansas City Regional Office of FHEO
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Gateway Tower II
400 State Avenue, Room 200
Kansas City, Kansas 66101-2406
(913) 551-6958
1-800-743-5323
TTY (913) 551-6972
Denver Regional Office of FHEO
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
1670 Broadway
Denver, Colorado 80202-4801
(303) 672-5437
1-800-877-7353
TTY (303) 672-5248
For Arizona |American Samoa | California |Guam |Hawaii | Nevada Alaska | Idaho | Oregon | Washington
San Francisco Regional Office of FHEO
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
600 Harrison Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, California 94107-1387
(415) 489-6524
1-800-347-3739
TTY (415) 436-6594
Seattle Regional Office of FHEO
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Seattle Federal Office Building
909 First Avenue, Room 205
Seattle, Washington 98104-1000
(206) 220-5170
1-800-877-0246
TTY (206) 220-5185