Housing Discrimination FAQs

  • The Montana Human Rights Act states it is unlawful to make decisions about housing because of a person’s:

    • Race
    • Color
    • National origin
    • Religion
    • Sex
    • Marital status
    • Age
    • Disability (including the need for service animals and reasonable accommodations)
    • Familial status (the presence of children under the age of 18).
  • Montana and federal fair housing laws cover most types of housing. The law exempts owner-occupied sleeping rooms in a private residence, provided the owner rents no more than 3 rooms within the residence.
  • Housing for older persons is exempt from the familial status and age provisions of Montana fair housing law if the units:

    • Are occupied solely by persons who are 62 or older, or
    • At least one person who is 55 or older resides in 80% of the occupied units
    • Owners publish and adhere to written policies and procedures that demonstrate the housing is intended and operated for persons 55 and older.
    • Printing, or publishing any advertisement or statement that indicates a limitation or preference in the area of housing
    • Refuse to rent or sell housing or otherwise deny entry into a neighborhood
    • Set different terms, conditions, facilities, services or privileges for sale or rental of a housing unit
    • Ask about a buyer’s or renter’s protected class
    • Represent that available housing is not available for inspection, sale or rental
    • For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent
    • Deny reasonable accommodations, at their expense, to persons with disabilities, in sales, rental and terms and conditions
    • Refuse to make or purchase a mortgage loan, or fail to provide information regarding loans
    • Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points or fees
    • Discriminate in appraising property
    It is illegal for anyone to retaliate against an individual who has filed a housing discrimination complaint, or participated in an investigation of a housing discrimination complaint.
    • Develop and post a written anti-discrimination policy and discipline those who engage in discriminatory behavior
    • Provide training for all managers and employees in fair housing law
    • Take immediate corrective action upon determining that discrimination has occurred
    • Apply standards equally to all tenants
    • Report incidents of discrimination to the salesperson or manager
    • If complaints are not resolved, report the discrimination to the broker or owner
    • Contact the Human Rights Bureau


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