For the purposes of law, elderliness refers to persons age 55 or older. Elderliness is not a protected class under federal fair housing laws, however, Virginia fair housing law extended protections to those age 55 and up in 1984. It is unlawful to refuse to sell, rent, or negotiate housing based on elderliness. The act applies to senior living communities, assisted living communities, and skilled nursing facilities.
Examples of discrimination include:
Advertising that indicates an age preference such as “Room for rent for young college student.”
Predatory lending practices that target the elderly, like scams that strip the equity from a home.
Statements that discourage a person from renting because of their age such as “Wouldn’t you be better off in a senior community?”
According to the 2016 US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 35% of adults age 65 and older reported having a disability. The Fair Housing Act describes a disability as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.”
Under the Fair Housing Act, persons with disabilities are allowed to request changes to rules, policies, and procedures (reasonable accommodations) and physical changes (reasonable modifications) to fully enjoy their homes. View more information about reasonable accommodations and modifications.