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


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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