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Off Campus Living Resources

 Questions to ask before signing a lease:



Safety features to look for in the unit:


Is it possible to get out of my lease?

  • This varies by the landlord and the lease agreement. The landlord may hold you accountable for the complete amount of your agreement. If you believe that the landlord is violating the agreement, then you should seek legal guidance. Iowa Legal Aid offers free consultation at: https://www.iowalegalaid.org/


Signs of housing discrimination

Denial of housing opportunities to people because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, because they have minor children, or because they have a disability, is known as housing discrimination. It is illegal under the federal Fair Housing Act. If you believe you were treated unfairly because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or familial status, you have a right to file a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. But in order to know if your fair housing rights have been violated, you should know the signs of housing discrimination.

The following practices by landlords or their agents (e.g., brokers and property managers) are prohibited:

*running discriminatory advertisements (for example ads that state “No Kids”, or “Looking for Great White Tenants”);

  • falsely stating to minority applicants that an available unit has been rented;
  • setting higher or lower rents, security deposit requirements or credit criteria for prospective tenants based on their race or other protected status;
  • failing to respond to inquiries by prospective minority tenants;
  • failing to provide prospective minority tenants with rental applications


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