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Asker
Posted almost 3 years ago.

isnt that discrimination ? he is denying me because he doesnt like what i do for a living. I meet all of the requirements asked so there was no reason for him to deny me. and also when i went to his office to pick my deposit back up he sexually harrassed me by asking what a guy like him has to do to sleep with a girl like me. and he texted me off his personal phone number without my permission. and called me after hours. i dont think this is right and i think yuu might be wrong too because that is discrimination and that can get his job taken away if im correct.

Hershel Robert Chapin
Hershel Robert Chapin, Business Attorney - Dallas, TX
Posted almost 3 years ago.

The word “discriminate” simply means “recognize a difference.” It is not an inherently bad word.

Certain kinds of discrimination are illegal as you suggest. Housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or disability is illegal under federal law. Under certain narrowly-defined circumstances, recipients of federal funds are not allowed to discriminate based on income. If the landlord’s own policies state that he does not discriminate based on profession, then he might be legally bound by those policies. The situation you have described, however, fits none of the above categories.

It is legal for a private individual landlord or leasing agent to “discriminate” based on income or occupation, whether they think you will make a lousy tenant, or even the kind of shoes you wear (provided these reasons are not solely based on race, color, etc.). For instance, a landlord can tell a doctor/lawyer/bartender to take a hike because he does not like a certain profession. The law does not cure every single disappointment that life throws at a person.

You may be tempted to think that the “sex” discrimination category is so expansive as to encompass your profession. But you would be wrong. It is true that federal law is still developing on the issue of what constitutes gender orientation or physiological sex characteristics. But it is clear at this point that simply being in a sex-based profession does not automatically entitle you to be in a “protected class.”

Sexual harassment is a different matter entirely. If a stranger or someone you know makes you feel uncomfortable to the point where you feel that you are in physical danger, you need to make it loud and clear to them that they need to BACK OFF FOREVER. You should also avoid all contact with this person. If the person continues to make advances after you have demanded that they stop, then you need to contact the police. You may need to press charges for stalking or assault, and get a criminal restraining order.

Another way to get the landlord to stop is, if he has a supervisor, you may want to contact the supervisor to let them know the employee is making unwanted sexual advances. You can also report the person or their business (if they have one) to consumer watchdog groups such as the Better Business Bureau.

Also: you need to watch out who you give your personal information to, such as your phone number or information about your profession.

Lastly, if you sense that someone is giving you trouble, maybe that person is not the best person to rent an apartment from.