Division of
Human Relations

Sex (Gender)

You are protected against unlawful housing discrimination on the basis of your sex (gender). It is illegal to discriminate on the basis of your sex in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings and in other housing related transactions. If you are denied an opportunity to rent or buy a home because of your sex, you are a victim of illegal housing discrimination. It is also illegal for landlords and other housing providers to current residents or tenants differently because of their sex. The law protects men as well as women from housing discrimination, but the majority of sex discrimination claims involve policies or practices that limit women’s housing choices or are likely to affect women more severely.

Examples & Warning Signs of Sex Discrimination:

  • Women who are pregnant or are on maternity leave are delayed or denied home loans or offered less favorable terms.
  • Increasing rent or threatening eviction because of the birth of a child or for adding a child to the household.
  • Policies that have a negative impact on survivors of domestic violence because of the actions of their abusers (for example, evictions due to calls to police).
  • Advertising that indicates a preference for women or men.
  • Sexual harassment by the landlord or landlord’s agents or employees.

Sexual Harassment

Individuals, whether female, male or otherwise gendered, who are victims of sexual harassment are not a separate protected class under Delaware’s Fair Housing laws. However, sexual harassment is illegal and against the law. If you feel you are being sexually harassed by your housing provider, you may be protected by laws that prohibit discrimination against a protected class to which you do belong, for example, based on your gender, race or national origin.

  • Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a housing provider offers something (for example, reduced rent, repairs, or stopping an eviction) to a resident in exchange for sex. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is illegal even if the offer is accepted because of the difference in bargaining power between a housing provider and the tenant.
  • Hostile environment sexual harassment occurs when a housing provider, including employees such as office staff and maintenance workers, subjects a resident to conduct of a sexual nature (for example, unwanted or suggestive compliments) that is unwelcome and sufficiently severe or persistent that it interferes with or deprives the resident of her right to use and enjoy her housing.

Click here to learn more about sexual harassment in housing and how you can fight back to feel Safe at Home.

If you believe you were discriminated against because of your sex, file a complaint.

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