Looking for housing can be very stressful and demanding under normal circumstances let alone in cases where landlords might be treating applicants unfairly. Discrimination includes refusing to show a person an apartment or house for rent, telling a person that the apartment or house is not available when it is, quoting a higher rent to one person than to another, or having different terms and conditions for renting to certain people.
It’s a Federal crime for a landlord to discriminate based on someone’s race, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, or because a family has children. A landlord can not discriminate against a person because the person has a physical or mental disability. The federal law forbids practices that, for example, deny tenants with children rental units because of an “adults only” or a “no children” policy. It prohibits denying people with mental or physical problems housing regardless of the landlord’s preference.
In addition to these Federal laws protecting tenant rights, California also has tenant right laws on the books to prevent any fraud. For instance, is the landlord is in default with their lender, California laws protect the tenant from being evicted during a foreclosure process if they can show a valid lease agreement. California also has laws to protect tenants against discrimination based on sexual preferences, gender identity or spousal affiliation.
If you are under the impression that you have been discriminated, you can seek help from Department of Fair Housing which has jurisdiction over these matters.