Can a rental company deny a married couple the option of having a roommate solely on the basis of their being married?

UPDATED: Apr 27, 2012

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Can a rental company deny a married couple the option of having a roommate solely on the basis of their being married?

My wife and I were recently told that the rental company we had planned on renting from does not “allow families to have a roommate”. This sounds like discrimination of “terms, conditions, or privileges” on the basis of familial status. Is this the case?

Asked on April 27, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Kansas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written, it sounds that you may have been discriminated against under Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) guidelines. How is a "roommate" defined? What about if you needed to take care of an elderly relative?

The issue that I see is what is the unit that you are desiring to live in zoned for habitability purposes? A rental company can deny a rental to a married couple based upon their desire to have a roommate. However, such denial opens up the landlord and the renatl company to a possible DFEH violation. I suggest that you consult with a landlord tenant attorney further about what you have written about concerning a DFEH violation.


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