What, Exactly, Does 'Familial Status' Mean?

Know Your Rights Under the Fair Housing Act

Family looking at apartment buildings

 Nossa Productions / Getty Images 

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.

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.