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Can my landlord discriminate against me for being Muslim?

With refugees coming in from the Middle East, Michigan has seen an increase in Muslim populations. The good thing is that your landlord cannot discriminate against you based on your religion. 

You have rights as a tenant if your landlord does discriminate against you because of your faith. 

Religious discrimination unacceptable 

The US Department of Justice states that real estate companies and landlords cannot discriminate against a person based on familial status, race, sex and religion, among others. The landlord cannot overtly deny you access to a home based on your religion. The Fair Housing Act does provide some limitations for those offering housing to a specific religion. 

The landlord cannot participate in non-overt forms of discrimination against you. These may come from the municipal organization that rezones particular areas to prevent you from worshipping properly. 

Related discriminatory practices 

Refugees may face other discriminatory practices based on a landlord’s assumptions. Beyond religion, you may face discrimination based on your national origin or the color of your skin. Neither of these discriminatory practices is acceptable under the Fair Housing Act. 

If you feel your landlord has discriminated against you in any of these ways, you can file a formal complaint through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The complaint can be against the landlord or the municipal entity for zoning rule changes. Other options include filing a lawsuit with an attorney either through the federal departments or at the state level. 

The Fair Housing Act may have gone into effect to limit racial discrimination in housing practices, but it also benefits you. A group of persons may file a complaint or lawsuit together if in co-op or group housing.