Source of Income
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 employment, public benefits, retirement or disability, 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 is receiving public benefits, or refusing to use all regular and verifiable income in determining whether an applicant meets minimum income requirements. Landlords in Kern County are not required to accept Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8).
- Setting income requirements artificially high (i.e. monthly income must be four times the rent) in order to exclude applicants who receive public benefits.
- Requiring co-signers or a larger security deposit because of an applicant’s source of income.
If you suspect that you are a victim of housing discrimination on the basis of your source of income, contact the GBLA Fair Housing Law Project.