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

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Kansas’s Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords, housing authorities, real estate agents, banks, and other housing representatives from refusing services to an individual based on their race, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, or familial status.
Federal lawmakers passed the Fair Housing Act in 1968, establishing protection from racial, disability, or religious discrimination in housing decisions. Since legislators passed the original law, the Fair Housing Act has expanded to include protections against gender and sex-based discrimination
Even though the Fair Housing Act protects individuals across the country, each state handles it a bit differently. That’s why the super app and home insurance pro, Jerry, is here to walk you through the ins and outs of Kansas’s fair housing laws so that you can know your rights to fair housing in the Sunflower State.
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Does Kansas have a Fair Housing Act?

Yes, the state’s Fair Housing Act (FHA) can be found under Kansas statute 44-1016. It’s here that the state law prohibits any form of discrimination based on an individual’s race, religion, color, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. It is illegal to do the following based on the characteristics described above:
  • Refuse to give a mortgage loan or provide information regarding available loans
  • Refuse to rent or sell housing
  • Enforce different terms, conditions, or services that are not given to other tenants or buyers
  • Falsely claim a dwelling is unavailable for sale or rent
  • Set different terms and conditions for loans and/or mortgages
  • Refuse to accommodate a person with a disability
  • Advertise or state that only individuals of a certain race, color, national origin, religion, or other characteristics, are welcome to buy or rent housing
The rules of Kansas’s FHA apply to anyone involved in the selling, renting, or building of a housing property. This includes real estate agents, landlords, banks, insurance brokers, developers, architects and contractors, and more. If any of these individuals have violated your rights under the FHA, the transgression can be reported at Kansas Legal Services.

Accessibility requirements under the Fair Housing Act

The Kansas Fair Housing Act lays out conditions to protect a person’s accessibility needs. Similarly, the Fair Housing Act of 1991 established a national requirement for landlords and other housing authorities to provide reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications in any multifamily dwelling. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two. 
Reasonable accommodation requests often require the housing provider to make exceptions to their standard rules, practices, policies, and services. How come? The purpose behind reasonable accommodations is to allow an individual with a physical or mental disability to enjoy and use the dwelling to its fullest. These are some of the most common reasonable accommodation requests:
  • Permitting a tenant to have a service animal even if it’s a “no pet” building
  • Providing a reserved parking spot close to the building’s entrance for a person with a physical disability
  • Allowing a tenant to move to a ground-floor unit that is easier to access with a physical disability
  • Providing an adjusted rent payment schedule for a tenant who receives income assistance
Reasonable modification requests are similar since they are designed to help a person fully enjoy and use the property. However, reasonable modifications often require physical changes made to the inside or outside of a property. This may include:
  • Installing a grab bar in the bathroom of a tenant with a mobility impairment
  • Building a ramp to the building’s entrance for anyone with a physical disability
  • Widening doorways to accommodate a wheelchair
However, there are some exceptions to the rule—if the reasonable accommodation or modification request places an undue financial burden on the landlord or housing authority, then the landlord does not have to make the requested changes. However, they must find the tenant a new dwelling or alternate solution that can accommodate their disability
If you’ve requested a reasonable accommodation or modification that is within the financial scope of your landlord or housing authority, but they’ve refused to comply, you may report the incident as an FHA violation.

How to file a fair housing complaint in Kansas

If you feel like you’ve been the victim of housing discrimination because of your race, national origin, sex, religion, or disability, you can and should report the complaint under the FHA
In Kansas, there are a few ways to report the case—complaints may be filed with Kansas Legal Service, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD), or at a state or local housing agency.
If you choose to report the complaint at Kansas Legal Service, you can do so by filling out their online application or by calling 1-800-723-6953
When going through HUD, it’s important to provide them with the following info:
  • Your name and address
  • The name and address of the person whom you’re filing the complaint against
  • Address and a brief description of the housing involved in the complaint
  • A short description of the alleged violation
  • The date the violation occurred
To file the complaint, you can call 913-551-6958 or 1-800-743-5323. Or, mail your written complaint to HUD’s Midwest office:
Great Plains Office -- Fair Housing Hub
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 
Gateway Tower II, 400 State Avenue, Room 200, 4th Floor, 
Kansas City, KS   66101-2406

State agency vs. local offices

Depending on where you live in the Sunflower State, a range of local agencies can address your FHA complaint. Here’s a look at the various agencies and the jurisdictions they’re in:
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How to save money on home and renters insurance in Kansas

No matter where you live in Kansas, you have the right to fair housing. You also deserve the right to a good homeowners or renters insurance to keep your home safe and sound. That’s why Jerry is here to make sure you can find the best insurance policy to fit your needs, regardless of the hurdles you’ve had to overcome to get your housing in the first place. 
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FAQ

There are a few routes you can take to report any FHA violations done by your landlord. The first option is to work through the Kansas Legal Service. Fill out an application online or give them a call at 1-800-723-6953.
Your next option is to work through HUD. These complaints can be filed by calling the Great Plains Office at 913-551-6958 or 1-800-743-5323. Or, mail your written complaint to:
Great Plains Office -- Fair Housing Hub
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 
Gateway Tower II, 400 State Avenue, Room 200, 4th Floor, 
Kansas City, KS   66101-2406
If these two options don’t meet your needs, you can see if your jurisdiction has a local housing authority that can handle complaints and work through their offices as well.

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