If you are denied an opportunity to rent a home or apartment—-or given false information about a rental—-because of your source of income, you are a victim of illegal housing discrimination. It is also illegal for landlords or other housing providers to treat in-place residents or their guests unfavorably because of the individual’s source of income.
Housing providers must treat all income equally, as long as the source is legal, regular, and verifiable. Sources of income can include wages earned from employment, public benefits, retirement or disability income, payments from investments or trusts, alimony, and child support.
Examples & Warning Signs of Source of Income Discrimination:
- Advertising that an individual “must have a job” to rent, or requiring documentation that is only available to working applicants, like paycheck stubs.
- Refusing to rent to an individual who receives public benefits, or refusing to use all regular and verifiable income in determining whether an applicant meets minimum income requirements. Note: Landlords in Delaware are not required to accept Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8).
- Setting income requirements artificially high (for example, monthly income must be four times the rent) in order to exclude applicants who receive public benefits.
- Requiring an applicant to provide co-signers or a larger security deposit because of the applicant’s source of income.
If you believe you were discriminated against because of your source of income, file a complaint.