Single renter questions family favoritism

Rent it Right

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Q: I applied to rent an apartment in a small complex that has lots of families. The owners live there, too, and told me that they prefer to rent to families because, that way, everyone knows that there will be kids running around and a bit of noise, and they will be OK with it. I'm OK with it, too, but felt unwelcome. Can an owner discriminate against me, as a single person? --Janice D. A: Most of the discrimination that involves families happens the other way around: Families are turned away, shunted to specific rental units, or charged higher rents because they have children. All of these landlord practices are illegal, and have been for many years under the federal Fair Housing Act and state counterparts. "Familial discrimination" also includes negative treatment of elderly persons. For example, turning away an elderly applicant in order to preserve a "youthful tenant mix," or because the landlord assumes that an elderly person will be a liability, is...