Housing Questions

Student Life and Housing Questions

If you are experiencing any form of sexual harassment, please report it to your local authorities.  Do not allow public housing authorities, private landlords, or any property management companies to sexually harass you.

Yes, anyone leasing or renting a house, apartment, condominium, trailer park, public housing, or staying at a homeless shelter can seek protection.

  • Taking advantage of you because of your race, sex, or sexuality
  • Preventing you from receiving a utility service
  • Unannounced night visits without your consent
  • Complaints about fictitious exaggerated behavior
  • Not willing to recognize rent transactions
  • Showing boisterous behavior near neighbors
  • Destroying property material
  • Threatening you and physically abusing you

Yes, you can complain to the owner of the building, also known as an apartment manager, and file a harassment complaint. No fear should be present when filing a complaint. Under the Fair Housing Act, tenants are protected from landlord’s vengeful intentions. Behave lawfully and resonably. Document any interaction quickly and accurately. 

If your landlord does retaliate, you can appeal to the courts for unprecedented housing conditions. That is why it is crucial that you hold on to your leasing contract and point out that the landlord did not notify you of any new leasing terms before the harassment complaint.

Under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Unruh Civil Rights Act, it is unlawful for a landlord, managing agent, real estate broker, or salesperson to discriminate against any person because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions related to them, as well as gender and perception of gender), sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, disability, medical condition, or age in any of the following ways:

  • Refusing to sell, rent, or lease.
  • Refusing to negotiate for a sale, rental, or lease.
  • Representing that housing is not available for inspection, sale, or rental, when it is available.
  • Otherwise denying or withholding housing accommodations.
  • Providing inferior housing terms, conditions, privileges, facilities, or services.
  • Harassing a person in connection with housing accommodations.
  • Canceling or terminating a sale or rental agreement.
  • Providing segregated or separated housing accommodations.

Refusing to permit a person with a disability, at the person with a disability's own expense, to make reasonable modifications to a rental unit that are necessary to allow the person with a disability "full enjoyment of the premises." As a condition of making the modifications, the landlord may require the person with a disability to enter into an agreement to restore the interior of the rental unit to its previous condition at the end of the tenancy (excluding reasonable wear and tear).

Refusing to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when necessary to allow a person with a disability "equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling" (for example, refusing to allow a person with a disability's companion or service dog).

There are limitations if the owner of an owner-occupied, single-family home rents out a room in the home to a roomer or a boarder, and there are no other roomers or boarders living in the household.
As each factual pattern is different, you should consult an attorney if you feel you have been a victim of housing discrimination. If you are a victim of housing discrimination (for example, if a landlord refuses to rent to you because of your race or national origin), you may have several legal remedies.  

Sourced from California Department Consumer Affairs