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Searching 2018 Special Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 9 : Commerce and Trade

Chapter 139 : DISCRIMINATION; PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS; RENTAL AND SALE OF REAL ESTATE

(Cite as: 9 V.S.A. § 4503)
  • § 4503. Unfair housing practices

    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person:

    (1) To refuse to sell or rent, or refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling or other real estate to any person because of the race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, religious creed, color, national origin, or disability of a person, or because a person intends to occupy a dwelling with one or more minor children, or because a person is a recipient of public assistance.

    (2) To discriminate against, or to harass any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale or rental of a dwelling or other real estate, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of the race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, religious creed, color, national origin, or disability of a person, or because a person intends to occupy a dwelling with one or more minor children, or because a person is a recipient of public assistance.

    (3) To make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling or other real estate that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, religious creed, color, national origin, or disability of a person, or because a person intends to occupy a dwelling with one or more minor children, or because a person is a recipient of public assistance.

    (4) To represent to any person because of the race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, religious creed, color, national origin, or disability of a person, or because a person intends to occupy a dwelling with one or more minor children, or because a person is a recipient of public assistance, that any dwelling or other real estate is not available for inspection, sale, or rental when the dwelling or real estate is in fact so available.

    (5) [Repealed.]

    (6) To discriminate against any person in the making or purchasing of loans or providing other financial assistance for real-estate-related transactions or in the selling, brokering, or appraising of residential real property, because of the race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, religious creed, color, national origin, or disability of a person, or because a person intends to occupy a dwelling with one or more minor children, or because a person is a recipient of public assistance.

    (7) To engage in blockbusting practices, for profit, which may include inducing or attempting to induce a person to sell or rent a dwelling by representations regarding the entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, religious creed, color, national origin, or disability of a person, or because a person intends to occupy a dwelling with one or more minor children, or because a person is a recipient of public assistance.

    (8) To deny any person access to or membership or participation in any multiple listing service, real estate brokers' organization, or other service, organization or facility relating to the business of selling or renting dwellings, or to discriminate against any person in the terms or conditions of such access, membership, or participation, on account of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, religious creed, color, national origin, or disability of a person, or because a person is a recipient of public assistance.

    (9) To discriminate in the sale or rental of a dwelling because a person relies upon aids such as attendants, specially trained animals, wheelchairs, or similar appliances or devices but the owner shall not be required to modify or alter the building in any way in order to comply with this chapter. An owner shall permit, at the expense of the person with a disability, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by the person with a disability if the modifications are necessary to afford the person full enjoyment of the premises. The owner may, if reasonable, require the person to agree to restore the premises to the condition that existed before the modification, reasonable wear and tear excepted, but the owner may not require an additional security deposit for this purpose.

    (10) To refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when such accommodations may be necessary to afford a person with a disability equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling unit, including public and common areas.

    (11) To fail to comply with provisions or rules pertaining to covered multifamily dwellings, as defined in 20 V.S.A. § 2900(4) and pursuant to 20 V.S.A. chapter 174.

    (12) To discriminate in land use decisions or in the permitting of housing because of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, religious creed, color, national origin, disability, the presence of one or more minor children, income, or because of the receipt of public assistance, except as otherwise provided by law.

    (b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section with respect to discrimination in sales and rentals of dwellings on the basis of age or on the basis of a person's intention to occupy with one or more minor children shall not apply to the sale or rental of a dwelling in a housing complex:

    (1) intended for, and solely occupied by, persons 62 years of age or older;

    (2) intended and operated for occupancy by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit. This subsection shall only apply if the following conditions are met:

    (A) the housing complex has significant facilities and services specifically designed to meet the physical or social needs of older persons, or if it is not practicable to provide those facilities and services, that the housing complex is necessary to provide important housing opportunities for older persons;

    (B) at least 80 percent of the units are occupied by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit, except that a newly constructed housing complex in which first occupancy will begin after enactment of this act need not comply with this subsection until 25 percent of the units are occupied; and

    (C) there are written and enforced policies and procedures which demonstrate an intent by the owner or manager to provide housing for persons 55 years of age or older; or

    (3) established under any federal or State program specifically designed and operated to assist elders, as defined in the federal or State program.

    (c) The housing exemption in subsection (b) of this section shall not fail to apply due to persons residing in such dwellings as of July 1, 1989, who do not meet the age requirements of subsection (b) of this section, provided that new occupants of such dwellings meet the age requirements of that subsection, and that unoccupied units as of July 1, 1989 are reserved for occupancy by persons who meet the age requirements of that subsection. (Added 1987, No. 74, § 1; amended 1987, No. 253 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1989, No. 89, § 2; 1991, No. 135 (Adj. Sess.), § 12; 2007, No. 41, § 15; 2011, No. 137 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. May 14, 2012; 2013, No. 31, § 11; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 32.)