If you are a buyer, tenant, or former or prospective tenant, and you believe you have been the target of unlawful discrimination, you may file a complaint of discrimination. While it is best to file your complaint as soon as possible, you must file your complaint no later than one year from the “last date of harm” – the date you believe the most recent discriminatory event occurred. You should be prepared to provide specifics about the type of discrimination you believe you encountered, such as the alteration of terms, conditions or privileges of a transaction; refusal to show or rent a property; refusal to receive or relay an offer to purchase or rent; misrepresentation that a property is not available for sale or rent; or eviction. You should also be prepared to provide specifics such as the company and individual names of persons involved, complete contact information, and details pertaining to the alleged discrimination.
Once submitted, you will be contacted by the Department within 30 days. If it is determined that the Department has jurisdiction, your complaint will be assigned to an investigator who will review and investigate your complaint, which may include additional interviews with yourself, the housing provider, witnesses, etc. Supporting documents may also be requested and reviewed.
We emphasize and encourage the parties to “conciliate” at any point in the process, that is, reach an informal resolution to the dispute. If no resolution can be reached, upon the conclusion of the investigation we will determine whether there is “reasonable cause” to believe unlawful discrimination occurred. If the allegation is not supported by evidence, the complaint will be dismissed. If a reasonable cause finding is issued, we will attempt to eliminate the alleged unlawful practices by informal methods of conciliation. If we are unable to resolve the complaint through informal negotiations or conciliation, we will provide for an administrative hearing to determine what remedy is necessary to correct the effect of the discrimination.