What You Need to Know About Arizona’s Fair Housing Act

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The Arizona Fair Housing Act protects individuals and families from housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status, or disability. 
The Fair Housing Act of 1968, a landmark piece of Civil Rights-era legislation, was designed to shield renters and homeowners alike from the discrimination they may encounter from landlords, real estate agents, brokers, and banks. Under this law, it is illegal to deny housing or financing because of certain factors of your identity. 
As a renter or potential homeowner, you have rights! And super app and licensed broker Jerry is here to help you learn just what they are in the state of Arizona. Here’s everything you need to know about the Arizona Fair Housing Act, getting into the details of how to file a fair housing complaint, and showing you how to save some cash on your various insurance policies. 
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Does Arizona have a Fair Housing Act? 

Yes, indeed! Chapter 2, Article 1 of the Arizona state legislature breaks down what’s not allowed when it comes to Arizona housing. Don’t sweat it if you can’t understand the legal jargon! Here’s a basic overview of the Copper State’s Fair Housing Act.
Under Arizona State law, it is illegal to do the following because of someone’s race, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status, or physical or mental disability:
  • Refuse to accept or consider a bona fide offer 
  • Change a sales price or rent charge, like raise the monthly rent  
  • Decline to sell or negotiate the sale or rental of a property 
  • Require different application criteria or paperwork, like additional application fees, income requirements, or a higher security deposit  
  • Delay maintenance services 
  • Evict them 
  • Limit access to facilities and services within a dwelling, such as not allowing a tenant to use their apartment building’s gym or laundry machines 
The Arizona Fair Housing Act also protects tenants and homeowners from sexual exploitation. It is illegal for a landlord, real estate agent, or a broker to deny housing because someone refused to give them a sexual favor. 
If any of the above conditions feel at all familiar to you, it’s more than likely that someone—a landlord, a broker, a real estate agent, or a bank—has denied you your right to fair housing. If that is the case, you should formally file a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s office.  

Accessibility requirements under the Fair Housing Act 

Section R10-2-109 details the accessibility requirements currently upheld by the state of Arizona under the Fair Housing Act. All multifamily dwellings intended for occupancy before March 13, 1991 must meet the following standards: 
  •  A minimum of one wheelchair-accessible entrance unless the surrounding terrain or any “unusual characteristics” are in the way 
  • All public or common use areas are wheelchair accessible 
  • Each dwelling unit is sufficiently wide enough to navigate a wheelchair through the door, kitchen, bathroom, and throughout the space 
  • Electrical outlets, light switches, and thermostat controls are all accessible from a wheelchair 
  • Reinforced bathroom walls that can support a grab bar 
The 1991 Fair Housing Act was nationally mandated and addressed both the need for reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications in any multifamily dwelling. 
A reasonable modification request is a request made by or on behalf of a tent requesting physical alterations to their dwelling similar to what was listed above. The request can vary depending on the disability and dwelling. 
An individual with a disability can also request a reasonable accommodation regarding the housing provider's rules, policies, practices, or services to have full use or enjoyment of the dwelling. Common accommodation requests are:
  • Requesting a seeing-eye dog at a location that usually does not allow pets
  • Requesting a reserved parking spot located closer to the building for a tenant that has mobility concerns
  • Allowing a tenant to pay rent via mail if they are disabled in a way that will not allow them to make the payment at the rental office
A landlord’s refusal of a reasonable modification or accommodation request can violate  Arizona’s Fair Housing Act.  

How to file a fair housing complaint in Arizona 

So, if you find yourself in the uncomfortable position of having to file a fair housing complaint, you must file your complaint no later than one year after the incident took place. The same goes for an ongoing fair housing violation—you’ve got to report it within one year of the latest violation. 
To file a complaint, you need to contact the Attorney General’s Office in Arizona in one of the following ways: 
  • Fill out this Civil Rights Complaint form on their website 
  • Download and mail the form to either the Phoenix (2005 N Central Ave, Phoenix, Arizona 85004) or Tucson (400 W. Congress, Suite S-215, Tucson, Arizona 85701-1367) office address  
  • Visit either Attorney General’s Office in person 
  • Call the Phoenix office at (602) 542-5263 or the Tucson office at (520) 628-6500

State agency vs. local offices 

Although contacting the Arizona Attorney General’s office is the most direct way to handle a housing discrimination inquiry, there are also local agencies that can provide valuable resources to those in the throes of filing a complaint. Here’s a handy table of different Arizona cities and towns, and their local housing agencies:
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How to save money on home and renters insurance in Arizona

A strong understanding of your civil rights can help protect you from becoming a victim of housing discrimination in legal matters. And, for your insurance policies, downloading Jerry can protect you from overpaying. 
Jerry takes the hassle out of finding the best deal—one that has all the coverage you need at a low price—for your insurance. Once you take just 45 seconds to enter your information, they do the hard work of comparing rates from over 50 premium insurance providers. It’s no wonder Jerry is the #1 rated insurance app! 
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FAQ

You can report a landlord by contacting the Arizona Attorney General’s office and filing a Civil Rights complaint form either online or by mailing this form to their office.

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