Landlord-tenant disputes in New York come in many forms. One of the most tragic of these forms is housing discrimination based on one’s immigration status. What many immigrants do not know is that it is illegal for landlords to discriminate against them in any manner. This blog post will address important housing discrimination elements for those who think they do not have protection in the United States.

Examples of discrimination: If your landlord is engaging in any of these behaviors, you should consider seeking legal guidance.

  • Refusing you a rental
  • Lying about rental availability
  • Harassing, threatening, coercing or intimidating you
  • Interfering with your rights

Fair housing protection: Even though you are an immigrant, you have the same housing rights as those born in America enjoy. This means your landlord is not permitted to charge you a higher rate of rent or an overly expensive deposit.

Harassment protection: If you are an immigrant, it is against the law for your landlord to act in a way that forces you to vacate your rental. Examples of this harassment include verbal abuse, having your heat or other utilities disconnected and interfering with your ability to reside comfortably and peacefully in your rental.

As you might imagine, the examples and explanations in this post are far from exhaustive. As a tenant and an immigrant, you would be wise to seek additional information about landlord-tenant disputes and other housing rights. Contacting the state’s Division of Human Rights may provide you with answers and speaking with an experienced legal professional can provide you with solutions to your housing crisis.

Source: New York Department of Homes and Community Renewal, “Immigration Status, Housing Discrimination and Tenant Harassment Frequently Asked Questions,” accessed Feb. 02, 2018

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