Your Rights in Housing

Prohibited Practices in Housing

Under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, housing is a protected area, and it is illegal to treat you differently in housing because of your: race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, public assistance, sexual orientation, or familial status.

With limited exceptions, the following actions constitute a violation the Human Rights Act in housing when, because of your protected class status:

Property owners and managing agents, financial institutions with real property interest, real estate brokers:

Refuse to sell, rent, or lease or otherwise deny to or withhold from any person or group of persons any real property because of a person’s membership in a protected class;

Discriminate against any person or group of persons because of a protected characteristic regarding the terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale, rental or lease of any real property;

Deny full and equal access to real property to a person who is totally or partially blind, deaf, or has a physical or sensory disability and who uses a service animal;

Refuse to permit, at the expense of the disabled person, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by the disabled person if the modifications may be necessary to afford the disabled person full enjoyment of the premises;

Exemption: If the service animal can be properly identified as being from a recognized program which trains service animals.

Refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when accommodations may be necessary to afford a disabled person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling;

Post an advertisement or sign which expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification or discrimination regarding protected characteristics.

Financial institutions with real property interest discriminate against any person or group of persons regarding the granting, withholding, extending, modifying or renewing, or in the rates, terms, conditions, or privileges of the financial assistance or in the extension of services;

Real estate brokers for the purpose of inducing a real property transaction that would benefit them or their firm financially, to represent that a change has occurred or will or may occur in the composition with respect to protected characteristics.

NOTE: It is a violation of the Act for any person to interfere with another's protected rights in housing.

Significant Exemptions

  1. Respondents that may be exempt under one or more circumstances include the following:
    1. Non-profit organization that rents rooms in a residence home, with respect to sex.
    2. Resident owner of a rental unit in the accommodation to another person(s) with respect to sex, marital status, public assistance, sexual orientation, or disability.
    3. Resident owner of a rental unit in a dwelling with no more than two units, with respect to sexual orientation.
    4. Resident owner occupied building containing four or fewer dwelling units or housing for elderly persons, with respect to familial status.
  2. Local, state, or federal restrictions regarding the maximum number of people allowed to occupy a dwelling shall not be disregarded in favor familial status discrimination.

More Information

Fact Sheet (PDF)

What to Do

Contact us... do not wait! You have one year from the time the discrimination happened to file a charge with our agency.