The NYC Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination in housing based on your actual or perceived race, color, creed, age, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, gender (including gender identity and sexual harassment), sexual orientation, disability, marital status, partnership status, lawful occupation, family status, or lawful source of income. The Law also prohibits retaliation.
Partnership Status

Partnership status means being in a domestic partnership, a legal relationship permitted under the laws of the State and City of New York for couples that have a close and committed personal relationship. The Domestic Partnership Law recognizes the diversity of family configurations, including lesbian, gay, and unmarried heterosexual couples.   

Partnership status discrimination could also be marital status or sexual orientation discrimination.

Discrimination means being treated differently by any person with the authority to rent, sell, or deal with applicants or residents of a housing accommodation. For example, a building owner or representative (such as a superintendent) is discriminating if they treat you differently because of your partnership status, such as refusing to list both domestic partners on the lease.

These behaviors, policies, or practices could be evidence of discrimination:

  • Being denied an apartment application because the building owner rejects your or your partner’s domestic partnership status;

  • Being asked if you are married or intending to get married;

  • Refusing to renew a lease, or reducing services like turning off a unit’s electricity or not making repairs after learning that tenants were domestic partners; or,

  • Being told that all tenants cohabiting must be related by blood, marriage, or adoption and that the landlord needs to see documents to prove it.
The Law also prohibits retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint against someone, or act as a witness for someone else who files a complaint.

If you believe you are the victim of housing discrimination, contact the NYC Commission on Human Rights at 212-306-7450 or visit 311 online.

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A website of the NYC Commission on Human Rights and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development

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