Before You File a Fair Housing Complaint

Think you’ve been the victim of illegal housing discrimination? Are you considering filing a fair housing claim against your property manager, landlord, or housing professional?

How about we step back, take a moment, and consider what’s involved.


Housing discrimination complaints are under the mandate of the Fair Housing Act (FHAct). With those regulations, there’s a “statute of limitations” limiting the time frame to bring a claim.

At the federal level, renters have:

  • Up to two years to file a fair housing claim in federal court
  • One year after the alleged discrimination to pursue it with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Measure three times, cut once

What’s your reason for bringing the claim? Is it revenge, anger, or the thought of “getting even?” On the flip side, maybe you’re motivated to “pay it forward,” making sure a landlord doesn’t discriminate against other victims. Maybe it’s the thought of a financial reward to compensate you and suffering.

Self-assess your case

Filing with HUD is straightforward, but there’s no guarantee your case makes the cut. A good percentage of the many hundreds of thousands of complaints submitted yearly are routinely denied at the gate.

Luckily, our fair housing experts offer various levels of support to help you develop a better complaint.

Get it in writing

Hopefully, you’ve been keeping a notebook, saving written correspondence, and maybe even have a phone log.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint

Complaints that go all the way may take up to two years to settle. Are you prepared for that investment of your time and energy?

Also, winning is not a sure thing; there’s no guarantee of results.