New York City is known as a cultural “melting pot,” and for good reason; the city boasts one of the most diverse populations of any city on the planet. Aside from the opportunity that the city presents to people of all walks of life, New York City also has a strong system of anti-discrimination laws to ensure that everyone is treated equally. The city’s housing discrimination laws, in particular, are very broad and protect many would-be residents from all kinds of discriminatory practices.
New York City housing discrimination laws prohibit discrimination based on a variety of statuses, including age, sex, gender identity, race, color, religion, national origin, occupation, immigration status, family status, pregnancy, and disability. Of course, this means that a landlord cannot reject an applicant based on any of these criteria, but there are several other rights that prospective tenants should understand.
For example, landlords cannot charge members of a protected class higher rent, refuse to make repairs, or add fees on top of the monthly rent. Similarly, landlords must show prospective tenants all available housing and not refuse to show some units because they would not be a “good fit” in the landlord’s mind.
For disabled tenants who require reasonable accommodations, the landlord is normally required to pay for the accommodations unless doing so would present an undue hardship. Finally, landlords are required to accept government-provided rental assistance and cannot engage in harassing or threatening behavior, even when rent is past due.
Despite New York City’s strong anti-discrimination laws, some landlords still attempt to deter certain groups of people from applying for tenancy. This too is illegal. However, according to a recent news article, Facebook has been under fire recently for allowing landlords to specifically target housing ads so that only certain demographics of prospective tenants would view the ads.
The article notes that Facebook, as well as the current administration, consider this practice by landlords to be more “targeted marketing” than impermissible discrimination. However, the line is a blurry one, and, while targeted marketing may be permitted for consumer goods, it is likely a violation of state and federal housing discrimination laws. Facebook has since apologized and has vowed to implement stronger filters to ensure that this type of discrimination does not occur in the future.
Have You Been a Victim of Housing Discrimination?
If you have recently been a victim of what you believe to have been New York City housing discrimination, you may be able to bring a civil lawsuit against the landlord. When someone engages in discrimination, they are doing more than keeping you from a place where you are entitled to live; they are perpetuating harmful beliefs that have no place in today’s society. At the Law Offices of Ira S. Newman, we strongly believe that everyone deserves to be treated equally, with respect and dignity. We have been assisting victims of New York housing discrimination for years, and we are happy to meet with you to discuss your case and see how we can help you. Call 800-206-7375 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.
See Additional Blog Posts:
Federal Court Determines Veteran Was Entitled to Higher Signing Bonus from Employer Upon Return from Service, New York Business Litigation Attorney Blog, November 13, 2017.
New York City Landlord Busted for Housing Discrimination, New York Business Litigation Attorney Blog, October 25, 2017.