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April 10, 2012

Renting a Home

Where to Get More Help

Many states and cities have departments of housing, departments of fair housing, or departments of human affairs. Employees there can usually answer questions and accept complaints of discrimination. Municipal housing departments can also receive complaints of inadequate maintenance. Check government listings in the local telephone directory.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has offices in many large cities and has involvement in many landlord-tenant issues. HUD has regulations governing public housing, publicly subsidized housing, and fair housing. HUD can answer questions and accept complaints of housing discrimination.

Tenants may seek the assistance of the National Housing Institute, which provides information and referral to local tenant organizations. NHI is located at 460 Bloomfield Avenue, Suite 211, Montclair, NJ 07042-3552. Telephone (973) 509-2888.

Landlords may seek the assistance of local real estate or building management organizations.

Bar associations may provide referral to local attorneys who are familiar with landlord-tenant law or fair housing law in the community.

Information on local housing codes is available from the local code enforcement department.

There are three national or regional organizations that write model housing codes. They typically provide written materials to both the public and professionals.

Two national publications discuss landlord-tenant law in layperson's terms:

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