TENANTS LEGAL CENTER
Discrimination is the different treatment of individuals based on their membership in a class or based on something unique to them as individuals. Some discrimination is illegal and some discrimination is actually legal.
Generally, illegal discrimination is when someone is treated differently simply due to their membership in a class based on a protected characteristic. For example, such characteristics includes race, national origin, color, age, gender, religion, family status, disability etc. These are characteristics which are either impossible or at least very difficult to control or change.
Legal discrimination is generally where a person is treated differently due to a behavioral characteristic such as credit record, past behavior as a tenant, smoking, wealth and job security etc. These are matters essentially within the control of the individual.
Of course, there are exceptions and unique variations within both groups but these rules act as a general guideline. One could argue that certain disabilities are caused by behavior (i.e. illness from smoking) or that certain protected characteristics are easily changed (i.e. changing religion, family status etc.). This is one reason why discrimination law can be very complex.
Fair Housing Laws cover discrimination in renting. These are found in both Federal and State Laws. There are penalties for illegal discrimination in both legal systems (Federal and State) Further, a landlord should not be able to evict a tenant based on an illegal discrimination.
Illegal discrimination may be difficult to prove. You must first show some differential treatment for one person as opposed to another based
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SOURCE OF INCOME
If you feel you are the victim of illegal discrimination you may contact the following for assistance: U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.), for California - California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and for San Diego - the Fair Housing Council of San Diego. as well as Legal Aid
California law for San Diego is applied in these pages. Such laws may or may not be applicable in other jurisdictions. The information provided herein is of a general nature and is not intended to be taken as specific legal advice.