What, Exactly, Does 'Familial Status' Mean?

Know Your Rights Under the Fair Housing Act

A portrait of young family with a toddler girl moving in new home.
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Say you're looking for an apartment with children. You find the perfect rental, only to learn that the landlord doesn't like kids. As a result, your application is rejected and you have to start from square one.

Fortunately for you, a landlord who acts this way is violating federal law. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) bans discrimination based on certain protected classes, including "familial status," which refers to the presence of at least one child under 18 years old.

What Is Familial Status?

Familial status refers to the presence of at least one child under 18 years old in a household. It also includes pregnant women and people in the process of adopting or gaining custody of child.

If you're looking for an apartment which children, or if you expect to have children living with you someday, find out exactly what familial status means and what your rights are under the FHA.