18-200 Purpose.

Whereas housing discrimination adversely affects the availability of housing to groups of persons who are affected by such discrimination and thereby limits the availability of safe, sanitary, and clean housing for such persons, it is hereby declared by the city council of the City of Burlington that such discrimination is contrary to the health, welfare, and safety of the citizens of the city.

(Ord. of 10-9-84)

18-201 Definitions.

(a)    For the purpose of this article, "adverse housing action" means any of the following:

(1)    Refusal to rent;

(2)    Refusal to negotiate a rental;

(3)    Making a rental unit unavailable;

(4)    Changing of the terms, conditions, or privileges of a rental including adding or increasing rental charges;

(5)    Falsely representing that a rental unit is not available for a prospective tenant;

(6)    Refusal to permit reasonable changes or modifications at other than the landlord’s expense to a rental unit in order to render it suitable for occupancy by a handicapped person.

(b)    For the purpose of this article, "rental unit" shall not include:

(1)    Dormitories or other housing provided by an educational institution including fraternities and sororities;

(2)    Dwellings which are directly or indirectly assisted or subsidized by a public agency or public monies for the purpose of making housing available for a particular group or classification of persons;

(3)    Housing provided for pious, charitable, or public purposes;

(4)    Dwellings where the available space or facilities are inadequate to house a person and all minors under applicable occupancy standards;

(5)    Dwellings which are owner-occupied duplexes.

(c)    Notwithstanding the above, no dormitory or other housing provided by an educational institution, including fraternities and sororities, shall take an adverse housing action against any person because of the age, sexual orientation or handicap of the person.

(Ord. of 10-9-84; Ord. of 9-24-90)

18-202 Adverse housing action.

No owner or other person shall take an adverse housing action in relation to the rental, lease, sublease, or assignment of a lease of a dwelling unit against a person because:

(a)    He or she is a handicapped individual;

(b)    He or she relies upon aids such as attendants, dog guides or other specially trained animals, wheelchairs, or similar appliances or devices;

(c)    He or she intends to occupy a rental unit with one or more minor children;

(d)    He or she is a recipient of public assistance;

(e)    His or her sexual preference;

(f)    Of the person’s age;

(g)    Of the person’s gender.

(Ord. of 10-9-84)

18-203 Penalty; civil remedies.

(a)    It is hereby declared that any person who commits or otherwise engages in an "adverse housing action," as herein defined, shall be guilty of a violation of this article and shall be punished as provided in Section 18-31, and such violation shall be abated as a nuisance.

(b)    In addition, any person who is injured as a result of a violation of this article may seek to recover damages and other just relief as contemplated by Section 54 of the Charter of the City of Burlington, or in a claim for minimum housing violation as contemplated by 24 V.S.A. § 5008, or both.

(Ord. of 10-9-84; Ord. of 6-26-95)

18-204—18-299 Reserved.