Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 4: State Government

Chapter 21: Human Rights

Part 6: Discrimination in Housing and Financing

TCA 4-21-601: Discriminatory housing practices generally.

(a)  It is a discriminatory practice for any person because of race, color, creed, religion, sex, disability, familial status or national origin, to:

     (1)  Refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, real property or a housing accommodation to a person;

     (2)  Discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of real property or a housing accommodation, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith;

     (3)  Refuse to receive or transmit a bona fide offer to purchase, rent or lease real property or a housing accommodation from a person;

     (4)  Represent to a person that real property or a housing accommodation is not available for inspection, sale, rental or lease when in fact it is so available, or to refuse to permit a person to inspect real property or a housing accommodation;

     (5)  Make, print, publish, circulate, post or mail or cause to be made, printed, published, circulated, posted or mailed a notice, statement, advertisement or sign, or use a form of application for the purchase, rental or lease of real property or a housing accommodation, or make a record of inquiry in connection with the prospective purchase, rental or lease of real property or a housing accommodation, that indicates, directly or indirectly, a limitation, specification or discrimination as to race, color, creed, religion, sex, disability, familial status or national origin or an intent to make such a limitation, specification or discrimination;

     (6)  Offer, solicit, accept, use or retain a listing of real property or a housing accommodation for sale, rental or lease with the understanding that a person may be discriminated against in the sale, rental or lease of that real property or housing accommodation or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection therewith; or

     (7)  Deny any person access to, or membership or participation in, any multiple-listing services, real estate brokers' organization or other service, organization or facility relating to the business of selling or renting dwellings, or to discriminate against such person in the terms or conditions of such access, membership or participation.

(b)  (1)  It is a discriminatory practice for any person to:

          (A)  Discriminate in the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any buyer or renter because of a disability of:

                (i)  The buyer or renter;

                (ii)  A person residing in or intending to reside in the dwelling after it is so sold, rented or made available; or

                (iii)  Any person associated with the buyer or renter; or

          (B)  Discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with such dwelling, because of a disability of:

                (i)  The person;

                (ii)  A person residing in or intending to reside in the dwelling after it is so sold, rented or made available; or

                (iii)  Any person associated with the person.

     (2)  For purposes of this subsection (b), "discriminate" includes:

          (A)  Refusing to permit, at the expense of the disabled person, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by such person if such modifications may be necessary to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises; except that, in the case of a rental, no modification need be permitted unless the renter first agrees to restore the interior of the premises to the condition that existed before the modification, reasonable wear and tear excepted, unless previously negotiated with the landlord;

          (B)  Refusing to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford such person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling; or

          (C)  In connection with the design and construction of covered multifamily dwellings for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, failing to design and construct those dwellings in such a manner that:

                (i)  The dwellings have at least one (1) building entrance on an accessible route, unless it is impractical to do so because of terrain or unusual site characteristics; or

                (ii)  With respect to dwellings with a building entrance on an accessible route:

                     (a)  The public use and common use portions of such dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by disabled persons;

                     (b)  All the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises within such dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow passage by disabled persons in wheelchairs; and

                     (c)  All premises within such dwellings contain the following features of adaptive design:

                           (1)  An accessible route into and through the dwelling;

                           (2)  Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and other environmental controls in accessible locations;

                           (3)  Reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and

                           (4)  Usable kitchens and bathrooms, such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.

     (3)  Compliance with the appropriate requirements of the American National Standard for buildings and facilities providing accessibility and usability for physically disabled people (commonly cited as "ANSI A117.1") suffices to satisfy the requirements of subdivision (b)(2)(C)(ii).

     (4)  As used in this subsection (b), "covered multifamily dwellings" means:

          (A)  Buildings consisting of four (4) or more units if such buildings have one (1) or more elevators; and

          (B)  Ground floor units in other buildings consisting of four (4) or more units.

     (5)  Nothing in this subsection (b) requires that a dwelling be made available to an individual whose tenancy would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or whose tenancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others.

(c)  It is a discriminatory practice for a person in the business of insuring against hazards to refuse to enter into, or discriminate in the terms, conditions, or privileges of, a contract of insurance against hazards to a housing accommodation or real property because of the race, color, creed, religion, sex or national origin of the person owning, or residing in or near the housing accommodations or real property.

(d)  It is a discriminatory practice for a person to coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of such person's having exercised or enjoyed, or on account of such person's having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected by the provisions of this chapter.

(e)  This section may also be enforced by appropriate civil action.

History: [Acts 1984, ch. 1007, § 4; T.C.A., § 4-21-127; Acts 1990, ch. 937, §§ 2, 3; 1992, ch. 1027, §§ 10, 11; 2008, ch. 706, §§ 1, 2.]