Fair Housing

View how to file a fair housing complaint and see the protections given to you under fair housing laws.

You are ensured equal access to housing by laws of the City of Annapolis, the State of Maryland, and the Federal government. These laws are designed to deter unfair or discriminatory practices, such as misinformation, inconsistent pricing, steering and redlining, that are used to try to prevent people from living in the communities they choose.

The fair housing laws of the City of Annapolis, the State of Maryland, and the Federal government cover most types of housing. Certain types of facilities are exempt in some circumstances: buildings with 4 or fewer apartments where the owner lives in 1 of the units, single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a realtor, housing operated by organizations or private clubs that limit occupancy to members, and in the case of families with children qualified senior citizen communities.

Know Your Fair Housing Protections

The City Code of Annapolis, Article 49B of the Maryland Annotated Code, and the U.S. Fair Housing Amendments Act make it illegal to discriminate in housing against certain classifications of people. The laws are similar, but there are some differences as the table below demonstrates.

Protections based on jurisdiction
Protected Class
Federal Law
State Law
Annapolis Law
Race X X X
Color X X X
National Origin
Religion X X X
Gender X X X
Familial Status
Disability X X X
Martial Status
Sexual Orientation
Gender Identity
Source of Income


Fair Housing Rights

The Annapolis Human Relations Commission handles complaints that occur within the City. The Maryland Commission on Human Relations handles complaints filed under Article 49B. Violations of real estate law are enforced by the Maryland Real Estate Commission. The Department of Housing and Urban Development handles housing complaints filed under federal law. There is no local law in Anne Arundel County.

You May Be a Victim of Discrimination If Someone:

  • Refuses to rent or sell you housing
  • Tells you that housing is unavailable when it really is
  • Shows you apartments or homes in certain neighborhoods only
  • Sets conditions for the sale or rental of property that are different from those offered to other people
  • Refuses to provide you with information regarding mortgage loans, denies you a loan, or imposes different terms on a loan than another person receives
  • Denies you property insurance
  • Refuses to make reasonable accommodations for you if you are disabled
  • Threatens, coerces or intimidates you from exercising your rights under fair housing laws
  • Refuses to accept Housing Choice Vouchers

Complaint Process for the Annapolis Human Relations Commission

If the Human Relations Commission decides that a complaint has merit, it will first try to resolve the conflict through mediation. That is, Commissioners will arrange a discussion between the party who has made the complaint and the party against whom it has been filed in an attempt to reach an agreement that satisfies both sides. If mediation does not work, or if either party refuses to meet, the Commission may hold a public hearing to decide whether the complaint has merit. After the hearing, the Commission may take further action under law, including referring the case to appropriate local, state and federal agencies including the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney.

To File a Complaint, Contact:

  • Annapolis Human Relations Commission
  • Maryland Commission on Human Relations via phone at 410-767-8600
  • Maryland Real Estate Commission via phone at 410-230-6200
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development via phone at 888-799-2085

You have 1 year after an alleged violation to contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and six months to contact the Maryland Commission on Human Relations. The Annapolis Human Relations Commission has no time limitations, but you should file as soon as possible.