Everyone in me is a bird, but landlords won't rent to any of us.
August 31, 2013 7:13 AM Subscribe
My current rental house is too small, so I'm looking for a larger house or apartment to rent when my lease is up next month. I have excellent income and strong credit and good references, with roots in the area. I'm friendly and professional. But I have a feeling that potential landlords may be refusing to rent to me because they suspect I am pregnant. (I am not.)
posted by anonymous to home & garden (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
To be fair, I kinda do look pregnant, often to the tune of about 3-5 months, mostly due to a hereditary medical issue that causes dramatically enlarged liver and kidneys (which radiologists comment on with an unmasked, heady mix of horror and wonder). I'm in my 30s, and I have a naturally glowy complexion, and I'm pretty busty, so I fit the profile. I am not married and I do not wear a ring.
I can admit it's hella noticeable. Several times a month, complete strangers ask me when I'm due or comment on it. Some people actually touch my belly or insist on assisting me. The more polite ones simply stare at my midsection. But hey, this is my reality, I am dealing with the day-to-day comments with as much grace as I can. I just didn't think until today that it could impact my ability to rent a home, even though it's illegal here in the US to discriminate based on family status.
Last week, a potential landlord asked me if I had a husband or boyfriend in the picture (which I just researched and realized was a legally verboten question). And then last night, a potential landlady spent 10 minutes clandestinely glancing at my belly, assured me she would accept applications and reference info through Saturday, then wrote this morning to inform me she had already selected a different party for the rental.
Now, it's very possible that landlords have found someone more suitable based on income or other factors. But then again, I can't be sure. I work from home and I'm picky about where I live, so it's not my preference to go live in one of the noisy, impersonal beige complexes that have been springing up everywhere. This medical issue will only get more dramatic over time, and I have no intention to purchase a home.
How do I navigate this? I'm not interested in suing anyone, but I'm willing to gently correct someone who asks intrusive questions. That said, how do I navigate people who are too polite to ask questions? From what I am reading, this kind of discrimination can be very subtle.
This is in the US, in Colorado.