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Fair Housing: Nuisance and “Crime-Free Housing” Ordinances

People who are trying to buy or rent a house have rights. For example, the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq., provides protections against housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and familial status. Some states have also passed laws offering similar protections. Unfortunately, housing discrimination is still a very real problem.

A growing number of cities across the country, including some cities in Minnesota, have adopted nuisance or “crime-free housing” ordinances. Notably:

  • Some of these ordinances define nuisance in a way that encompasses conduct such as “excessive” calls to police, without regard to whether the tenant may be a victim of crime, such as domestic violence, for example.
  • Property owners may suffer stiff penalties if they don’t abate the alleged nuisance, and as a result, some property owners evict the tenant to avoid any further citations.
  • There is generally no meaningful notice or process for tenants penalized by these ordinances.
If you feel that you have been a victim of illegal discrimination in housing, please contact our consumer rights attorneys. 

Type of Investigation

Crime-Free Housing Ordinances