Does the Fair Housing Act protect against discrimination in the case of having roommates who are over 18?

In researching the FHA, I've found that it protects different familial statuses, but it seems to mostly concern itself with possible tenants who are under 18.

What if you wish to have roommates, and they're all over 18? Are you still protected by the FHA?

I was looking at renting a four bedroom house that is being handled through a property firm. I would have three roommates, and the owner said she only wanted a family with kids, and didn't want to deal with non-traditional tenants such as roommates. This seems discriminatory to me, as we are all in our 20s, more than capable of covering the rent, and all have stable jobs.

(This question is assuming everything else about the possible tenants complies with the law, and are otherwise qualified to rent, of course)

3 Answers

  • Cliff
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    They can refuse to rent to roommates, legally.

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  • 9 years ago

    Possibly. The FHA protects against discrimination based on familial status. While this was primarily intended to address discrimination against families with children, it can also protect other living arrangements where people are living together as a family unit. It could include unrelated roommates who live as a family unit--e.g., share household chores, etc.

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  • 9 years ago


    When the Fair Housing Act was first enacted, it prohibited discrimination only on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin. In 1988, disability and familial status (the presence or anticipated presence of children under 18 in a household) were added (further codified in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990). In certain circumstances, the law allows limited exceptions for discrimination based on sex, religion, or familial status

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