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Housing: Your Legal Rights

Permitted Discrimination In The Fair Housing Act

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The only exception in which discrimination is allowed under the FHA is when a landlord or real estate agent can show that a prospective tenant would be a "direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals." This is difficult to do - especially when the handicap in question is a life changing health condition.

It's difficult because the discriminating person would have to show that the prospective tenant would be a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals. This in turn requires a direct relationship between the illness and the asserted direct threat. In addition, it has to be shown that there is no reasonable accommodation which can be made to eliminate the risk.

The courts have even concluded that people with transmittable HIV are not such a threat and are therefore protected under the law.

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