In Massachusetts, it is unlawful for a housing provider to discriminate against a current or prospective tenant based on:
- National Origin
- Familial Status (i.e. children)
- Source of Income (e.g. a Section 8 voucher)
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender Identity
- Marital Status
- Veteran or Active Military Status
- Genetic Information
Examples of fair housing violations
Examples of unlawful practices include:
- Refusing to rent you, or charging you higher rent or other fees, based on one of these protected characteristics.
- Steering you away from particular properties or rental units based on one of these protected characteristics.
- Refusing to rent to you because you rely on public assistance (for example, a Section 8 voucher).
- Failing or refusing to make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities, including exceptions to policies (for example, a "no pets" policy) or reasonable physical modifications (grab bars or wheelchair ramps, for example).
- Harassing you, whether based on gender or any protected characteristic listed above. More information about harassment in housing is listed here.
- Refusing to give you a mortgage, or charging you higher fees, based on any of the protected characteristics listed above.
- Threatening to report you to immigration authorities so that you or your family members will be afraid to exercise any of your rights under the law.
- Refusing to rent to a pregnant woman or a family with young children, or evicting families, because a property contains lead paint. For more information about lead paint and discrimination, click here.
- Retaliating against you if you report discrimination.
File a complaint
If you have been denied housing, charged a higher amount of rent or fees, subjected to harassment, or otherwise treated unfairly by a housing provider because of one of the characteristics listed above, you should file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division or the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.