Housing Discrimination

Housing Discrimination

If your landlord has discriminated against you, we can help.
Call our Fair Housing Center at 1-844-449-3500
TTY 1-800-735-2929

Housing Discrimination Can Take a Variety of Forms

It is illegal for a landlord, managing agent, real estate broker, or salesperson to discriminate against any person because of their: race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions related thereto, as well as gender and perception of gender), sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, disability, medical condition, or age.

Housing Discrimination can occur in any of the following ways:

  • Refusing to sell, rent, or lease.
  • Refusing to negotiate for a sale, rental, or lease.
  • Representing that housing is not available for inspection, sale, or rental when it is, in fact, available.
  • Otherwise denying or withholding housing accommodations.
  • Providing inferior housing terms, conditions, benefits, facilities, or services.
  • Harassing a person in connection with housing accommodations.
  • Sexual Harassment.
  • Canceling or terminating a sale or rental agreement.
  • Providing segregated or separated housing accommodations.
  • Refusing to permit a person with a disability, at the person with a disability's own expense, to make reasonable modifications to a rental unit that are necessary to allow the person with a disability "full enjoyment of the premises."  As a condition of making the modifications, the landlord may require the person with a disability to enter into an agreement to restore the interior of the rental unit to its previous condition at the end of the tenancy (excluding reasonable wear and tear).
  • Refusing to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when necessary to allow a person with a disability "equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling" (for example, refusing to allow a person with a disability to have a needed companion or service dog).
How to Get Help

You can make a fair housing complaint with us for any housing discrimination that occurred within San Diego County.  Call our Fair Housing Center1-844-449-3500.TTY 1-877-735-2929

What we do

Our Fair Housing Center provides fair housing services in the City and County of San Diego. We are here to stop housing discrimination and to be sure there is equal housing opportunity for all those in San Diego County.  We use outreach, education, and enforcement of Federal and State Fair Housing Laws. Our Fair Housing Center is funded by County of San Diego, and the cities of San Diego, Encinitas, Escondido, San Marcos, Oceanside, Vista, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  To receive our services, the discrimination must have occurred in the City or County of San Diego.

Additional Sources of Assistance

  1. Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) - State of California’s fair housing enforcement agency for fair housing complaints.
  2. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - Federal agency charged with enforcing the fair housing act
  3. California Landlord Tenant Consumer Handbook - Information on general landlord tenant issues.
  4. City of San Diego Code Enforcement – City agency where the public can make complaints about unsafe and hazardous living conditions in rental units.
  5. Access 2 Independence: Resource center for persons with disabilities.

Fair Housing Information on Sex Discrimination

Sex Discrimination Webinar - English  /  Español

  1. What is Sexual Harassment?   Sexual Harassment | HUD.gov / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 
  2. Video example of Sexual Harassment Quid Pro Quo Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment (with Audio Descriptions)
  3. Video example of Hostile Environment Harassment Hostile Environment Harassment (with Audio Descriptions)
  4. How to Prevent Sexual Harassment? Click here
  5. Frequently Asked Questions about sexual harassment QANDASEXUALHARASSMENT.PDF (hud.gov)
  6. Additional Sexual harassment resources  Sexual Harassment Education and Outreach Resources | National Fair Housing Alliance
  7. How does the Fair Housing Act protect persons who face domestic violence? Microsoft Word - Domestic Violence Guidance.docx (hud.gov)

Fair Housing Information on Disability

Download a free guide to navigating a psychiatric crisis in San Diego County.  Available on iOS, Android, and Windows platforms. The oscER application will give you information, resources, and peace of mind.

Bazelon Center for Mental Health: Resource for information for persons with mental health disabilities.

HUD/DOJ Joint Statement on Reasonable Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

HUD memo that explains certain obligations of housing providers under the Fair Housing Act (FHAct), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with respect to animals that provide assistance to individuals with disabilities.

Information on Fair Housing Disparate Impact Claims Based on the Use of Criminal and Eviction Records in Tenant Screening Policies

Information regarding the Mental Health Services Act in San Diego County

Fair Housing Protections for People in Recovery

Securing Stable Housing Resource on Securing Stable Housing for Persons with a Mental Health Condition

Mental Health America-Housing Resource on Housing for Persons with a Mental Illness

Information on Disability Discrimination and the Fair Housing Act

FAQ California Department of Fair Employment and Housing Frequently Asked Housing Discrimination Questions

FAQ California Department of Fair Employment and Housing Frequently Asked Questions about Families, Seniors, and Persons with Disabilities

Information on Rental Housing Discrimination on the Basis of Mental Disabilities: Results of Pilot Testing



Helpful Information About Housing Discrimination

The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on:
  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National Origin
  • Sex
  • Disability (physical and/or mental)
  • Familial Status (presence of children)
In addition to these federally protected classes, California State Fair Housing Law also makes it unlawful to discriminate in housing based on:
  • Age
  • Marital Status
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Ancestry
  • Source of Income
  • Arbitrary status
  • Genetic Information
  • Gender Expression
  • Gender Identity


The Department of Fair Employment and Housing, has provided these  Educational Videos to illustrate how the fair housing act can protect you from discrimination.
Also, see THE LASSD Fair Housing Center's Public Service Announcement on your fair housing rights.  

What to do for your appointment

When you come for your appointment with the Fair Housing Attorney, please bring as much of the following information as you can:

  1. Timeline of events - A list of the dates and major events that happened;
  2. Lease agreement (if there was/is one);
  3. Any letters or written notices from landlord or property manager;
  4. Rental Application (if you have one);
  5. Advertisement of the rental unit (if you have it);
  6. Witnesses contact information;
  7. Any pictures that might help;
  8. Business cards from the rental agency, manager or landlord;
  9. Any other information that you think will help us understand your complaint.

Presentations and Training for your Group/Organization

If you have a group that is interested in learning about housing discrimination and fair housing rights, click here.

Get Involved

Volunteers are always welcome.  We welcome attorneys, post-bar law clerks, law students, paralegals, translators, as well as those willing to offer administrative assistance. If you are interested, click here.