Lawful Occupation

The Law

It is illegal to be denied a housing opportunity because of your lawful occupation.

Lawful occupation means any lawful vocation, trade, profession, or field of specialization. It includes members of the military.

Lawful Occupation Discrimination

Discrimination based on lawful occupation can also be marital status, partnership status, or family status discrimination.

Discrimination means being treated differently by any person with the authority to rent, sell, or deal with applicants or residents of a housing accommodation. For example, a building owner or representative (such as a superintendent) is discriminating if they treat you differently because of your actual or perceived lawful occupation, such as expressing worries about renting to a person in active military service or the reserves.

These behaviors, policies, or practices could be evidence of discrimination:

  • Being denied an apartment application because the building owner is uncomfortable with your, your partner’s, or family member’s actual or perceived lawful occupation;
  • Being evicted during your military tour of duty after being called up from the reserves;
  • Being asked if you have ever appeared in housing court or sued a landlord after you told a prospective landlord that you were a practicing attorney; or
  • Being told that the landlord doesn’t like musicians or actors in the building because they’re all drug users and come and go at all hours.

The Law also prohibits retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint against someone, or act as a witness for someone else who files a complaint.

File a Complaint

If you believe you are the victim of housing discrimination, contact CCHR by calling 311.

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