Federal, state, and local law protect people who have filed a housing discrimination complaint from retaliation.  The person with the authority to rent, sell, or deal with applicants to or residents of a housing accommodation may not take harmful actions against a person who filed a discrimination complaint or served as a witness or assisted with another person's complaint.  It is illegal for anyone to threaten, coerce, intimidate, or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or anyone assisting others who exercise that right.

These behaviors or actions could be evidence of retaliation:

  • Coercing a person orally, in writing, or by any other means, to deny or limit the benefits they would receive in connection with the sale or rental of housing;
  • Harmful actions against a person who has complained, testified, or assisted in any action regarding a fair housing complaint to punish them for filing the complaint.

Examples include:

  • Resident complains to the manager that she received a 10-day notice because of her race. The manager gets angry and gives her an eviction notice.
  • After a resident was a witness in a complaint investigation, the manager tells her he is "keeping an eye on her."

Even if the original allegation turns out to be unsupported, a retaliation complaint may be supported.

If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination, contact us to file a complaint. The New York City Human Rights Law requires that the complaint be filed within one year from the date of the last alleged act of discrimination.

If you would like to attend a free workshop on the New York City Human Rights Law, visit the events tab for upcoming workshop or visit the contact us tab to contact call the New York City Commission on Human Rights.