Fair housing

Fair housing refers to legal protection available to you under the Fair Housing Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act. If you, the buyer or renter, feel you have been discriminated against by a seller or landlord, you have certain legal rights. It is illegal to refuse to sell or rent to you because you’re a member of a protected class (i.e. race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, public assistance status and sexual orientation).

Most housing is covered under this legal protection, except for owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations or private clubs for member use only.

Hennepin County takes proactive steps to combat housing discrimination and foster inclusive communities.

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Know your rights

Actions not allowed in selling or renting housing

  • Refusing to rent, sell or show available housing to you
  • Being told the housing is not available to you, or isn’t right for you or your family
  • Having terms of availability change between a phone contact and in-person visit
  • Requiring different terms and conditions for identical dwellings
  • Housing advertisements that say “no kids” or “adults only”
  • Being steered to racially segregated neighborhoods during your home search

Additional protection if you have a disability

Your landlord cannot refuse to allow useful changes to the housing unit or common areas (at your expense), to offer accessible and livable space, or refuse to make reasonable changes to rules or services to allow you full use of the property amenities.

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