Can I sue my landlord for discrimination if they won’t rent to peoplewithchildren?

UPDATED: Mar 14, 2011

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Can I sue my landlord for discrimination if they won’t rent to peoplewithchildren?

I recently moved into an apartment which I found through a broker. The landlord signed a 1 year lease. The morning I moved in she asked me who was going to be living with me and I told her my twins who are 1 1/2 years old. She immediately said that she does not allow children to live in the building. Although she did tell me that I can stay here for a little while (couple of months) until I find another place. She then called the broker and demanded that they find me a different place. She signed a letter saying she releases me from my lease due to the fact that I have children.

Asked on March 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Well that's dandy that she signed the letter for you but guess what?  You are not bound by it.  And it is unlawful to discriminate against families with children.  Your lease is a contract and she is just as bound to the terms as you are.  I am sure that you went through a great deal of trouble and expense to find and move in to the place that you wish to call "home."  And it is a little late for her to ask, isn't it?  I am going to give you a link to the State Attorney General's website that addresses the issue here.  Take a look at it and then you need to decide what it is you want to do.  It deals with multiple dwellings but you now have not just an allegation but a binding contract.  Seek legal help.  Good luck.

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