When Michigan residents go to buy or rent a home, apartment, co-op or townhouse, they may be covered under the Fair Housing Act. It states that most landlords and homeowners cannot discriminate based on factors such as race, national origin or familial status. Familial status means that a landlord or property owner generally cannot refuse to deal with someone who is pregnant or has children under the age of 18.

There are several specific acts that landlords and property owners cannot take under the FHA. For instance, it is illegal to deny a dwelling to a protected person or protected group. It would also be illegal to falsely indicate that a home or apartment is not for rent when it actually is. Other illegal actions include changing loan or purchase terms based on a person’s nationality or other protected attribute.

Those who are looking to sell a home may not refuse to provide information about a loan because of a person’s race, gender or other protected attribute. It is also illegal to discriminate when it comes to assessing the value of a property. Changing loan interest rates or other terms may also be a violation of the FHA if done to prevent a protected person or group from buying a property.

The refusal to sell or rent to an individual primarily because of his or her race, gender or other protected attribution is usually a form of discrimination. Those who believe that they have been the victim of discrimination may wish to take legal action against a landlord or homeowner. An attorney may be able to review the facts of a case to determine if a person has a case and how to proceed with it.