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By Talullah Blanco
Updated on May 19, 2022
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff, Staff Editor.
Under the Kentucky Fair Housing Act, it is unlawful for landlords, real estate operators, brokers, or salesmen to refuse anyone housing based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, or familial status.
While the Fair Housing Act protects renters and homebuyers alike from housing discrimination in all 50 states, the process of filing a complaint can vary depending on your location. That’s why Jerry, the super app for homeowners insurance, has compiled everything you need to know about your rights to fair housing in Kentucky.
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Does Kentucky have a Fair Housing Act?
Kentucky does not have a Fair Housing Act per se but Statute 344.360 outlines unlawful housing practices in the state. The following acts are illegal in Kentucky on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, or familial status:
- Refuse to sell, exchange, rent, lease, deny or withhold a property
- Refuse to receive or transmit a bona fide offer to purchase, rent, or lease a property
- Refuse to negotiate for the sale, rental, or lease of property
- Falsely claim a property is not available for inspection, sale, or lease
- Print, circulate, post, or mail an advertisement that indicates a preference or limitation
- Offer, solicit, accept, use, or retain a listing of a property knowing that a person may be discriminated against
- Refusal to make reasonable changes to accommodate a disability
The Fair Housing Act applies to anyone who is involved in renting or selling property in Kentucky, including banks and mortgage lenders. If you’ve experienced unfair housing practices that violate the terms of the Act, you can file a formal complaint with the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Accessibility requirements under the Fair Housing Act
Kentucky Statute 344.360 outlines accessibility requirements for fair housing in Kentucky.
The Fair Housing Act mandates housing providers to accept requests for both reasonable accommodation and reasonable modification in any multifamily unit.
A reasonable accommodation is a change or exception to a rule, policy, practice, or service and can be requested by an individual with a disability to have full use and enjoy a dwelling. Some common accommodation requests include:
- Requesting permission to have a seeing-eye dog at a unit that does not permit pets
- Requesting a reserved parking spot close to the building for a tenant that has mobility restraints
- Allowing a tenant to pay rent via mail who otherwise could not
Reasonable modification requests are physical and or structural alterations and will vary depending on the disability and dwelling unit. Some common accommodation requests include:
- At least one accessible entrance unless the terrain does not allow it
- Public and common areas of the dwelling must be readily accessible to a person with a disability
- Doors wide enough for wheelchair users to pass-through
- Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations
- Kitchens and bathrooms designed for wheelchair users
- Reinforced bathroom walls able to support a grab bar
If your home does not already meet these requirements and your landlord denies your request or refuses to pay, you have the right to file a complaint.
How to file a fair housing complaint in Kentucky
If you suspect a landlord or real estate agent has denied you housing based on your race, national origin, sex, disability, religion, or familial status, you can file a complaint to begin a fair housing inquiry.
Here’s how to file a fair housing complaint in Kentucky:
- Write, call, or submit an online inquiry with the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights or Department of Local Government (DLG) within 180 days of the incident
- File an inquiry with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
- File a lawsuit in Federal District or state court within two years of the incident
When you contact the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, they will take your complaint information, complete a complaint form for you, and then mail the form to you. When you receive the complaint form in the mail, you must sign and have it notarized, then return it by mail to the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights before they can formally file your complaint.
State agency vs. local offices
Filing a complaint with the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is usually the best way to deal with housing discrimination. However, Louisville has its own local agency that addresses fair housing complaints. Here’s the agency you’ll need to go to if you live in Louisville.
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The Fair Housing Act protects you from housing discrimination in Kentucky. And with Jerry, you can find affordable insurance to protect your new home no matter who you are, where you are from, or what you believe.
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