Sex, Gender, and LGBT-Based Discrimination in Oregon Apartments

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Oregon law (and federal law) protects tenants from discrimination based on their sex or gender. This covers everything from offering lower rent for sexual favors to advertising men or women only apartments. Oregon also protects tenants from discrimination for their sexual orientation. The law offers some indirect protections for tenants who were discriminated against for their gender identity.

Sexism

Oregon law and federal law protect tenants from discrimination based on their sex (e.g., male, female). This protects tenants from most kinds of sexist acts, including falsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant's sex, evicting a tenant based on their sex, pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain sex in the neighborhood, retaliating (e.g., raising the rent, evicting, cutting off services, or harassing a tenant) against a tenant for reporting a problem, advertising an apartment that's for or not for a person based on their sex, denying an apartment or application based on their sex, charging different rent or offering different amenities based on sex, denying a loan based on their sex, discouraging tenants by renting by saying people of a certain sex live in the neighborhood, building a place that is inaccessible, interfering with a tenant's use and enjoyment of the property based on their sex, denying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their sex, refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant's sex, and refusing to allow the tenant to make to make reasonable modifications to suit their sex. Most commonly, setting different guest policies for women, advertising an apartment for men or women only, and offering a reduction in rent for sexual favors all constitute discrimination based on one's sex or gender. Typically, apartments with shared common areas (e.g., apartment with roommates or suitemates) are exempt. Or. Rev. Stat. 659 .

Additionally, Oregon protects tenants from discrimination based on their marital status. A landlord who only accepts single people violates the state's anti-discrimination laws. The protections also apply inversely - if a landlord treats married tenants as "less risky" and offers them a lower rent, it constitutes discrimination. Or. Rev. Stat. 659 .

Sexual Orientation

Oregon explicitly protects tenants from discrimination based on their sexual orientation. This means that denying housing, charging different rent, or otherwise treating such tenants differently because they are gay or lesbian is illegal under this state's laws. The full list of prohibited actions include evicting a tenant based on their sexual orientation, refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant's sexual orientation, denying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their sexual orientation, retaliating (e.g., raising the rent, evicting, cutting off services, or harassing a tenant) against a tenant for reporting a problem, advertising an apartment that's for or not for a person based on their sexual orientation, discouraging tenants by renting by saying people of a certain sexual orientation live in the neighborhood, charging different rent or offering different amenities based on sexual orientation, pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain sexual orientation in the neighborhood, building a place that is inaccessible, refusing to allow the tenant to make to make reasonable modifications to suit their sexual orientation, denying an apartment or application based on their sexual orientation, interfering with a tenant's use and enjoyment of the property based on their sexual orientation, denying a loan based on their sexual orientation, and falsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant's sexual orientation. Or. Rev. Stat. 659 .

Exceptions

The sexual orientation protections do not apply where the landlord is renting a limited number of apartments and the owner lives in one of them. This is intended to reduce the compliance burden for landlords who rent their second homes. Religious organizations and private clubs that rent out housing are not subject to these rules about sexual orientation.

Gender Identity

Oregon offers no direct protection from discrimination against tenants who identify as a different gender than their biological sex. However, tenants may be able to rely on federal or state protections that prohibit landlords from discriminating against one's sex. As stated on the Housing and Urban Development website : "The Fair Housing Act does not specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited bases. However, discrimination against a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person may be covered by the Fair Housing Act if it is based on nonconformity with gender stereotypes. For example, if a housing provider refuses to rent to an LGBT person because he believes the person acts in a manner that does not conform to his notion of how a person of a particular sex should act, the person may pursue the matter as a violation of the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition of sex." HUD Website. For this reason, landlords should be very cautious about denying housing or otherwise providing unequal treatment towards tenants with varying gender identities.

Sex to Pay Rent

Federal and state law protects tenants from discrimination based on their sex. Offers or propositions to pay rent (or a part of the rent) through sexual favors qualify as a form of sexual discrimination. PTLA.

Enforcement

Tenants may report sexual discrimination to the federal government directly. They also have the option in Oregon to report it to state authorities. Tenants may choose to report the problem to both authorities. If the issue is LGBT-related, it's better for tenants to report the problem to the state if they have strong protections for that LGBT issue and to the federal government if they don't.

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the federal government? The most recent year we have data is from 2016. In 2016, 63.4% (65.3% from Oregon) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 3 out of the 49 discrimination complaints from Oregon were about sexist discriminatory practices. Landlords that violate the federal Fair Housing Act can face civil penalties up to $16,000 for a first violation and $65,000 for future violations (each act of discrimination is a separate violation). In cases where the Justice Department is involved, civil penalties may rise to $100,000 per violation and federal courts can add additional damages. Landlords should also keep in mind the time and costs involved in defending against an action by the federal government. About 36% of complaints end up with a charge or settlement, based on 2016 data. Data.gov

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the authorities of Oregon or a local government? They may ask the tenant for information to help bring the case, including any evidence (e.g., emails and pictures). If the government finds there's sufficient information between the tenant's complaint (as well as complaints from other tenants), the landlord may be charged and taken to court to defend themselves. Landlords will likely receive fines if they lose. The amount of the fines will be determined in part by the severity of the issue. Fines increase significantly for repeat offenders. Or. Rev. Stat. Sec. 659 .

Reporting a Violation

Tenants may report violations of federal laws (i.e., discrimination against children and families) through the HUD website - it can be done online or via phone. Tenants can report issues to their state government by looking at the state website. A google search for "report fair housing violation in Oregon" will likely provide applicable information. In either case, tenants may be able to call the number on the page to ask whether their situation legally qualifies as rental discrimination.

Retaliation by the Landlord

Federal law (the https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaintFair Housing Act ) makes it illegal for landlords to harass a tenant in retaliation for reporting a problem. Examples of such harassment may include raising the rent or threatening to evict the tenant. Each such attempt is an additional violation. These protections do not apply if the tenant complained about something that they don't have right to, so tenants should know whether it's a violation. 10 such cases were filed with the federal government from in last year we have data (2016). Data.gov. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.

Sexism

Oregon law and federal law protect tenants from discrimination based on their sex (e.g., male, female). This protects tenants from most kinds of sexist acts, including falsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant's sex, evicting a tenant based on their sex, pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain sex in the neighborhood, retaliating (e.g., raising the rent, evicting, cutting off services, or harassing a tenant) against a tenant for reporting a problem, advertising an apartment that's for or not for a person based on their sex, denying an apartment or application based on their sex, charging different rent or offering different amenities based on sex, denying a loan based on their sex, discouraging tenants by renting by saying people of a certain sex live in the neighborhood, building a place that is inaccessible, interfering with a tenant's use and enjoyment of the property based on their sex, denying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their sex, refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant's sex, and refusing to allow the tenant to make to make reasonable modifications to suit their sex. Most commonly, setting different guest policies for women, advertising an apartment for men or women only, and offering a reduction in rent for sexual favors all constitute discrimination based on one's sex or gender. Typically, apartments with shared common areas (e.g., apartment with roommates or suitemates) are exempt. Or. Rev. Stat. 659 .

Additionally, Oregon protects tenants from discrimination based on their marital status. A landlord who only accepts single people violates the state's anti-discrimination laws. The protections also apply inversely - if a landlord treats married tenants as "less risky" and offers them a lower rent, it constitutes discrimination. Or. Rev. Stat. 659 .

Sexual Orientation

Oregon explicitly protects tenants from discrimination based on their sexual orientation. This means that denying housing, charging different rent, or otherwise treating such tenants differently because they are gay or lesbian is illegal under this state's laws. The full list of prohibited actions include evicting a tenant based on their sexual orientation, refusing to make reasonable accommodations based on a tenant's sexual orientation, denying an applicant the opportunity to inspect the apartment based on their sexual orientation, retaliating (e.g., raising the rent, evicting, cutting off services, or harassing a tenant) against a tenant for reporting a problem, advertising an apartment that's for or not for a person based on their sexual orientation, discouraging tenants by renting by saying people of a certain sexual orientation live in the neighborhood, charging different rent or offering different amenities based on sexual orientation, pressuring a tenant to rent or not rent based on people of a certain sexual orientation in the neighborhood, building a place that is inaccessible, refusing to allow the tenant to make to make reasonable modifications to suit their sexual orientation, denying an apartment or application based on their sexual orientation, interfering with a tenant's use and enjoyment of the property based on their sexual orientation, denying a loan based on their sexual orientation, and falsely stating an apartment is not available because of the tenant's sexual orientation. Or. Rev. Stat. 659 .

Exceptions

The sexual orientation protections do not apply where the landlord is renting a limited number of apartments and the owner lives in one of them. This is intended to reduce the compliance burden for landlords who rent their second homes. Religious organizations and private clubs that rent out housing are not subject to these rules about sexual orientation.

Gender Identity

Oregon offers no direct protection from discrimination against tenants who identify as a different gender than their biological sex. However, tenants may be able to rely on federal or state protections that prohibit landlords from discriminating against one's sex. As stated on the Housing and Urban Development website : "The Fair Housing Act does not specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited bases. However, discrimination against a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person may be covered by the Fair Housing Act if it is based on nonconformity with gender stereotypes. For example, if a housing provider refuses to rent to an LGBT person because he believes the person acts in a manner that does not conform to his notion of how a person of a particular sex should act, the person may pursue the matter as a violation of the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition of sex." HUD Website. For this reason, landlords should be very cautious about denying housing or otherwise providing unequal treatment towards tenants with varying gender identities.

Sex to Pay Rent

Federal and state law protects tenants from discrimination based on their sex. Offers or propositions to pay rent (or a part of the rent) through sexual favors qualify as a form of sexual discrimination. PTLA.

Enforcement

Tenants may report sexual discrimination to the federal government directly. They also have the option in Oregon to report it to state authorities. Tenants may choose to report the problem to both authorities. If the issue is LGBT-related, it's better for tenants to report the problem to the state if they have strong protections for that LGBT issue and to the federal government if they don't.

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the federal government? The most recent year we have data is from 2016. In 2016, 63.4% (65.3% from Oregon) of discrimination cases were resolved in the year they were filed. 3 out of the 49 discrimination complaints from Oregon were about sexist discriminatory practices. Landlords that violate the federal Fair Housing Act can face civil penalties up to $16,000 for a first violation and $65,000 for future violations (each act of discrimination is a separate violation). In cases where the Justice Department is involved, civil penalties may rise to $100,000 per violation and federal courts can add additional damages. Landlords should also keep in mind the time and costs involved in defending against an action by the federal government. About 36% of complaints end up with a charge or settlement, based on 2016 data. Data.gov

What happens when a tenant reports a problem to the authorities of Oregon or a local government? They may ask the tenant for information to help bring the case, including any evidence (e.g., emails and pictures). If the government finds there's sufficient information between the tenant's complaint (as well as complaints from other tenants), the landlord may be charged and taken to court to defend themselves. Landlords will likely receive fines if they lose. The amount of the fines will be determined in part by the severity of the issue. Fines increase significantly for repeat offenders. Or. Rev. Stat. Sec. 659 .

Reporting a Violation

Tenants may report violations of federal laws (i.e., discrimination against children and families) through the HUD website - it can be done online or via phone. Tenants can report issues to their state government by looking at the state website. A google search for "report fair housing violation in Oregon" will likely provide applicable information. In either case, tenants may be able to call the number on the page to ask whether their situation legally qualifies as rental discrimination.

Retaliation by the Landlord

Federal law (the https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaintFair Housing Act ) makes it illegal for landlords to harass a tenant in retaliation for reporting a problem. Examples of such harassment may include raising the rent or threatening to evict the tenant. Each such attempt is an additional violation. These protections do not apply if the tenant complained about something that they don't have right to, so tenants should know whether it's a violation. 10 such cases were filed with the federal government from in last year we have data (2016). Data.gov. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.

Last Update : September 12, 2018 UTC

Comments discussing Gender or Sexual Discrimination

about 1 year ago
0
votes

Big win for LGBTQ community. The Fair Housing Act protects tenants from LGBTQ discrimination by other tenants, not just the landlord. https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/us/article/US-court-says-Housing-Act-covers-harassed-LGBT-13189545.php
Renter in San Antonio, TX, USA
Gender or Sexual Discrimination