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  1. #1
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    Is it legal to discriminate renting a house based on age?

    I got a job working for GE in their Corporate CIS division for the spring and summer in their Information Management Leadership Program at their headquarters in Fairfield, CT. One of the houses myself, and two other college students who also received jobs in the area wanted to rent had no problems with renting the house to us based on our credit but when they found out that we were college students they told us we could not rent the house anymore.

    Is that legal? Is there anything we can even do?

    Thanks,
    -Chris
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  2. #2
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    They can deny anyone they want as far as i'm aware.

    It shouldn't matter on what, as i'm sure they can deny you for whatever they want, whereas you'd just be screwed over and that's it.

    I'd imagine it's probably not a right thing to do, since you said you guys had good credit and stuff.
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  3. #3
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    It's their house. they decide. It's not a government option.

    There's surely more homes or places to rent.
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  4. #4
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    Yes they can reject anyone, it is their house and i have also faced such difficulties in my college life.

  5. #5
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    I must say trying to find housing while i was in college was not an easy task. I know they have the right to deny anyone the oppurtunity to rent a room or house. It sucks, cause the places that college students can rent are usually much more expensive.

    You can thank all the college students that came before us, that destroyed the rooms or houses, so now they have a reason not to rent them out to college students.

    The best of luck to you in finding another place to live

    lane

  6. #6
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    Housing discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or disability is illegal by federal law. If you have been trying to buy or rent a home or apartment and you believe your rights have been violated, you can file a fair housing complaint.

    See the Fair Housing Act: http://sniderlaw.com/articles/fair-housing-act.pdf

    Not sure if you're covered under this or not. This would be the document to decide that though.

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  7. #7
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    Have you rented an apartment/house before? If so give that information to these people that would help out a lot. If not you are just going to have to keep looking for another apartment/house to rent. Or you might just have to rent out a room.


    Quote Originally Posted by CLKeenan
    I got a job working for GE in their Corporate CIS division for the spring and summer in their Information Management Leadership Program at their headquarters in Fairfield, CT. One of the houses myself, and two other college students who also received jobs in the area wanted to rent had no problems with renting the house to us based on our credit but when they found out that we were college students they told us we could not rent the house anymore.

    Is that legal? Is there anything we can even do?

    Thanks,
    -Chris
    I am back....


  8. #8
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    When I was renting back in college days, they usually asked for a hefty deposit -- assuming that the house would be a wreck after I left.

    When that didn't happen, they happily refunded my deposit and I never had problems with the company as a reference.

    If this is your first time, then yes -- its difficult. Perhaps someone at GE can vouch for you? If they know you are there on an internship, then maybe that could help.

    As far as I am aware, the only legal reason to reject renting a house is if you are under the legal age to sign a contract.

    Hope you get this sorted out -- I would ask your sponsor/mentor at GE. I'm sure this is not the first time that their interns have had housing problems.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AH-Tina
    Housing discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or disability is illegal by federal law. If you have been trying to buy or rent a home or apartment and you believe your rights have been violated, you can file a fair housing complaint.

    See the Fair Housing Act: http://sniderlaw.com/articles/fair-housing-act.pdf

    Not sure if you're covered under this or not. This would be the document to decide that though.

    --Tina
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by azizny
    I won't rent you my house.
    Exactly, that's all it takes. Private contracts can be refused without having a reason. It takes two people to agree to a contract.
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  11. #11
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    Well next time, don't mention you are a college student.

    Just say you work full time at your corporate job (GE).
    If they ask about school, just say you are done with it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amdac
    Exactly, that's all it takes. Private contracts can be refused without having a reason. It takes two people to agree to a contract.
    When you put your house up for rent you become subject to the same laws as any other landlord. Fair housing laws prohibit landlords from discrimination, period. Secondly there is no such thing as a private contract when dealing with tenancy(rental) and or lessor(lease) agreements/contracts.

    Connecticut has this to say about their housing laws:

    Housing discrimination is illegal throughout the state of Connecticut. It is against the law to deny anyone housing based on:

    * Race
    * Color
    * National Origin
    * Sex
    * Ancestry
    * Religion
    * Children or Family Status
    * Mental or physical disability
    * Marital Status
    * Age (except minors)
    * Sexual Orientation
    * Legal Source of Income
    I say contact the Fair Housing board. While you have nothing to gain at this point, the property owner can and will be fined which might make them think harder next time they decide to discriminate against people trying to get a better education.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by case
    Fair housing laws prohibit landlords from discrimination, period.
    You think that means they have to accept anyone? No. All they have to do is say "we're not inerested in renting to you". Voila. It's an application process, the same as any job interview. They can't make racist or discriminatory remarks, but they can sure as hell say no to anyone they want.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amdac
    You think that means they have to accept anyone? No. All they have to do is say "we're not inerested in renting to you". Voila. It's an application process, the same as any job interview. They can't make racist or discriminatory remarks, but they can sure as hell say no to anyone they want.
    Technically no, legally yes assuming "anyone" refers to an applicant who meets the creditors predetermined qualifications based on the fair housing boards strict guidelines. You would really need more information regarding the posters specific scenario to make a just call.

    Its not at all like a job interview. They're obligated by law to rent to those who qualify. If you're going to be a scumbag landlord you have to a be a little more slick then disqualifying them after approving their credit checks.

    Most smart landlords simply ask for large deposits which is well within their legal right.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by case
    They're obligated by law to rent to those who qualify.
    The law can't force you to rent to someone you don't approve of. I'd love to know where you're pulling that from.
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  16. #16
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    Would you really want to rent off someone who doesn't want you there?

    (for the record I too am young and have been discriminated upon because of my age before too..)

  17. #17
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    Most landlords want a 1 year lease. A valid reason to deny you is that you only want it for the spring and summer. Landlords are leery of students because of the higher risk of damage, noise and risk that the tenant will take off leaving rent and utility debts. Most landlords are not that blatant about it but get a list of prospects and choose the one they want. I used to have a lousy landlord who rented to the first person who applied ...and it showed.

  18. #18
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    Just because they pass the credit check and all does not mean they have to rent to them. All they have to say is I or we do not want to rent to you and they do not have to. Now if they made a remark because are "blah blah blah", then yes they can get in trouble, but if they do not then no one would get in trouble.


    Quote Originally Posted by case
    Technically no, legally yes assuming "anyone" refers to an applicant who meets the creditors predetermined qualifications based on the fair housing boards strict guidelines. You would really need more information regarding the posters specific scenario to make a just call.

    Its not at all like a job interview. They're obligated by law to rent to those who qualify. If you're going to be a scumbag landlord you have to a be a little more slick then disqualifying them after approving their credit checks.

    Most smart landlords simply ask for large deposits which is well within their legal right.
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  19. #19
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    What if someone said in writing (email):

    "I thought maybe these were seniors on their way to graduate school but I am uncomfortable w/ the ages, the proximity of the neighbors, and leaving my furniture in their care."

    That was an email to the real estate agent that were using from the owner/landlord/listing agent (all the same person).

    Like I said in my original post, I have already passed the credit check and the landlord agreed to all the terms that we asked for in our lease (8 months) but then she reconsidered and said we couldnt live there because we were too young.

    -Chris
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLKeenan
    What if someone said in writing (email):

    "I thought maybe these were seniors on their way to graduate school but I am uncomfortable w/ the ages, the proximity of the neighbors, and leaving my furniture in their care."
    There may be different laws in your city/state if the apartment is furnished or unfurnished.

  21. #21
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    If I was renting out my property, whether it be a house or an apartment, I would be very picky who I allowed into it. Maybe the big high rise apartment owners can afford to allow anyone in, but private owners should be able to have a say in who they allow in.

    When I was looking to move to a warmer climate a few years back, I had considered renting my home out until it sold. But I was very uncomfortable moving 3,000kms away and not knowing how my home was being treated, so I stayed and waited until it was sold.

    It's all very well to spout off laws etc in respect to property rental, but when you own something, you want to know who is going to be living there and whilst nothing is guaranteed even if you think you made a wise choice, at least you did your best to get decent tenants.

    Regarding my possible renting out of my home, I wouldn't have disciminated against any of the groups post above, because I know there are more good than bad in any group, but I would have liked to know something about the person's past and person's habits. Living in a small country town, it would have been a breeze, because I knew nearly everyone and if I didn't the town gossips could have filled me in But that's by the by, I didn't rent my home, but my feelings towards renting out your own property still stand.
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  22. #22
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    Its shameful that these people discriminate against age its like trying to get credit into todays world. I was told by a t-mobile representative they would report my payments to a credit bureau, but a few months later they tell me the only report bad payments. I keep trying to figure out how the hell do I get credit if nobody is willing to give you the chance to build up on it?
    Kerry Jones

  23. #23
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    I think there is a big difference between personal people renting property (I rent a room from my house to someone) and companies renting property.

    I think the best is to ask for a deposit or a guarantor.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Jones
    Its shameful that these people discriminate against age its like trying to get credit into todays world. I was told by a t-mobile representative they would report my payments to a credit bureau, but a few months later they tell me the only report bad payments. I keep trying to figure out how the hell do I get credit if nobody is willing to give you the chance to build up on it?
    If you have no bad credit rating you are home and hosed I was in a position a few years back because of my ex-husband and his bad debts, that I was struggling to get a credit rating after I kicked him out. A business in my local town who had known me for years, gave me a chance at recovering my "bad credit by association". The deal was for a year and I paid it off in 9 months. Back to a good credit rating and now in my married name

  25. #25
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    If you have no bad credit rating you are home and hosed I was in a position a few years back because of my ex-husband and his bad debts, that I was struggling to get a credit rating after I kicked him out.
    No my problem is I have no credit and have been wanting to get credit for a year now. I'm pissed that companies like T-Mobile won't report good credit, but will report bad credit if you're late on your payments its so hypocritical!
    Kerry Jones

  26. #26
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    As a general rule, I was told by a government person, you can discriminate against youth but you can't discriminate against age. In my hiring of employees, I can say you are too young but I can't say you are too old to hire.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by not-even-a-mouse
    If I was renting out my property, whether it be a house or an apartment, I would be very picky who I allowed into it. Maybe the big high rise apartment owners can afford to allow anyone in, but private owners should be able to have a say in who they allow in.

    When I was looking to move to a warmer climate a few years back, I had considered renting my home out until it sold. But I was very uncomfortable moving 3,000kms away and not knowing how my home was being treated, so I stayed and waited until it was sold.

    It's all very well to spout off laws etc in respect to property rental, but when you own something, you want to know who is going to be living there and whilst nothing is guaranteed even if you think you made a wise choice, at least you did your best to get decent tenants.

    Regarding my possible renting out of my home, I wouldn't have disciminated against any of the groups post above, because I know there are more good than bad in any group, but I would have liked to know something about the person's past and person's habits. Living in a small country town, it would have been a breeze, because I knew nearly everyone and if I didn't the town gossips could have filled me in But that's by the by, I didn't rent my home, but my feelings towards renting out your own property still stand.
    I have rental property. What you look for in a renter is: Income/job situation, past rental history and references from former landlords. Period. Nothing else should factor in. Treat all potential renters the same during the application process and you'll be fine.

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  28. #28
    I deal with this everyday with 8 - 1 bedrooms and 2 - 3 bedrooms. Yes, by law you cannot discriminate based on age, religion etc.

    Speaking personally, it seems that with every vacancy "already has an application pending. I am not too certain that it is going to go thru so I would love to show you the rental". It has never failed, if the potential leasee is likeable then the prior app failed, If I do not like them the prior app did go thru...sorry.

    My worst mistake was last October allowing a homeless man to take a 3 bedroom that needed major repairs. No rent, put what you can into the house be it $20 a month or $500 a month, no pressure. 14 months later he still has not got a job and has not put 1 dime into the place.
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  29. #29
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    actaully, the fair housing laws only apply to certain rentals.

    if the home is prvately owned and if the owner resides in the property as well, they do NOT have to apply the federal fair housing guidelines.

    http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing/housing_coverage.htm

    age is not in the guidelines nor do i see anything in your post to indicate it was age related.

    http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing/title8.htm

    (b)Nothing in section 804 of this title (other than subsection (c)) shall apply to--

    (1) any single-family house sold or rented by an owner: Provided, That such private individual owner does not own more than three such single-family houses at any one time: Provided further, That in the case of the sale of any such single-family house by a private individual owner not residing in such house at the time of such sale or who was not the most recent resident of such house prior to such sale, the exemption granted by this subsection shall apply only with respect to one such sale within any twenty-four month period: Provided further, That such bona fide private individual owner does not own any interest in, nor is there owned or reserved on his behalf, under any express or voluntary agreement, title to or any right to all or a portion of the proceeds from the sale or rental of, more than three such single-family houses at any one time: Provided further, That after December 31, 1969, the sale or rental of any such single-family house shall be excepted from the application of this subchapter only if such house is sold or rented (A) without the use in any manner of the sales or rental facilities or the sales or rental services of any real estate broker, agent, or salesman, or of such facilities or services of any person in the business of selling or renting dwellings, or of any employee or agent of any such broker, agent, salesman, or person and (B) without the publication, posting or mailing, after notice, of any advertisement or written notice in violation of section 804(c) of this title; but nothing in this proviso shall prohibit the use of attorneys, escrow agents, abstractors, title companies, and other such professional assistance as necessary to perfect or transfer the title, or

    (2)rooms or units in dwellings containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than four families living independently of each other, if the owner actually maintains and occupies one of such living quarters as his residence.

    minnesota is particularly strange because many landlords discriminate against families and children. they are very blatant about it. here is a good example

    http://www.hornigcompanies.com/policies.cfm

    5. Occupancy:
    Efficiency/Studio: Maximum of 1 person
    1 Bedroom: Maximum of 2 persons
    2 Bedrooms: Maximum of 4 persons
    (no more than two of these persons may be 18 or over)
    3 Bedrooms Maximum of 6 persons
    (no more than three of these persons may be 18 or over)

    i dont know how they get by with it, but they do.
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  30. #30
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    Once again, age is one of the protected groups in connecticut
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Jones
    No my problem is I have no credit and have been wanting to get credit for a year now. I'm pissed that companies like T-Mobile won't report good credit, but will report bad credit if you're late on your payments its so hypocritical!
    Call up CitiCards, and see it they'll give you a credit card with a low credit limit. They seem to be the best in providing cards to people with little or no credit, without any fees or shady practices.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by AH-Tina
    What you look for in a renter is: Income/job situation, past rental history and references from former landlords. Period. Nothing else should factor in.
    That may be what you look for, but everyone has different requirements/standards.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by E_man3
    Well next time, don't mention you are a college student.

    Just say you work full time at your corporate job (GE).
    If they ask about school, just say you are done with it.

    yea... Lying to your future landlord is a great option!
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  34. #34
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    For anyone who cares, after emailing the landlord directly (which I did in the first place, 2 days ago) and stating my situation and giving her a profile on myself she reconsidered and we now have the house. I did not mention anything about fair housing at all
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  35. #35
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    There is nothing you can do againsed discrimmination.

    At the end of the day the owners rights outweigh yours.

    It sucks but thats the way things tend to work
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    -Delete me, I just rehashed what Lauren said.

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