Fair Housing - Your Rights
Fair Housing is the right for everyone to have access to all housing opportunities without discrimination based on:
- National origin
- Familial status
The New Mexico Human Rights Act also prohibits discrimination based on:
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
- Spousal affiliation
How Can I Recognize Housing Discrimination?
The most common housing discrimination practices are:
- Refusal to deal: Refusing to sell, rent, lease, exchange or negotiate for a dwelling for discriminatory reasons.
- Different terms/conditions: Discriminating in rental amounts, security deposits, enforcement of rules or other terms and conditions of rental or sale.
- Misrepresentation: Representing that an available dwelling is not available for inspection, sale or rental when, in fact, it is.
- Discriminatory presentation: Saying, publishing or displaying a racial, religious, sexual or ethnic preference with respect to the sale or rental of housing.
- Steering: Directing anyone to homes or rental property in a particular area for discriminatory reasons.
- Assigning: Directing anyone to a particular section of the community for discriminatory reasons.
- Unequal financing: Denying a loan or offering different financial terms and conditions for discriminatory reasons.
- Blockbusting: Engaging in panic-selling by representing that the racial composition of a neighborhood is going to change.
- Adults only: Excluding or discriminating against families with children, except under specific guidelines for housing for older persons.
- Disability discrimination: Discriminating against or failing to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.
What Types of Housing are Covered?
Under the law, a landlord (owner, manager, broker, realtor or company representative) is responsible for applying fair housing practices in dwellings such as:
- Apartments rented or leased
- Houses sold or rented
- Boarding and rooming house rentals
- Mobile home parks
The Fair Housing Act covers most housing. In some circumstances, the Act exempts owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.
Who Can Help Me If I Feel I was Discriminated Against?
Complaints of Fair Housing Act violations may be filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. For more information or to file a complaint, contact:
Office of Program Compliance and Disability Rights
Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 Seventh Street, SW, Room 5242
Washington, D.C. 20410
Where Can I Get More Information?
The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) administers and enforces federal laws and establishes policies that make sure all Americans have equal access to the housing of their choice. Learn more about FHEO, or contact the Housing Discrimination Hotline by email, or at 800.669.9777 (Voice) | 800.927.9275 (TTY).
You can access information about the housing rights of people with disabilities and the responsibilities of housing providers and design professionals under federal law at hud.gov/topics/information_for_disabled_persons.
If you have a landlord/tenant-law related problem and need legal advice, please contact New Mexico Legal Aid at 866.416.1922. You may also learn about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant by accessing and reviewing landlord, tenant, housing and foreclosure information at lawhelpnewmexico.org/topics.
New Mexico Legal Aid's popular Renter's Guide is available for download in both English and Spanish at lawhelpnewmexico.org/node/9/renters-guide. Contact MFA’s Fair Housing Officer for assistance if you are not able to access these resources electronically.
Please do not call MFA’s Fair Housing Officer regarding any landlord/tenant law matters. Landlord/tenant law matters concern issues such as repairs, security deposits, noise from neighbors, landlord’s right of entry into a tenant’s unit and other matters covered under the lease agreement or New Mexico’s Owner-Resident Relations Act, Section 47-8-1 NMSA 1978 et seq. However, they do not involve discrimination against a tenant based on the tenant’s race, religion, national origin, sex, color, familial status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or spousal affiliation.
MFA's Fair Housing Officer
To contact MFA's Fair Housing officer, click here.