NRS 207.297 – Overview of the Discrimination Categories Under Nevada Law

Access to housing is critically important, and states generally pass laws to ensure that access to housing is not denied to peoples due to unfair discrimination. Nevada, like most states, outlaws housing discrimination. It is unlawful in Nevada to refuse to rent, lease, or sell a home or to refuse to grant a home a loan to someone based on certain unchangeable characteristics a person possesses, these characteristics are called discriminatory classes. While some discriminatory classes are easy to understand some discriminatory classes are more difficult to understand and must be defined clearly in the state code.

NOTE: These discrimination definitions apply to NRS 207.300 and NRS 207.310. Discriminatory classes my be defined differently in different parts of Nevada law.

When it comes to housing, you cannot discriminate against a person on account of their race, color, religious creed and national origin, gender identity, ancestry, or sex. It is also unlawful to discriminate against a person on account of their sexual orientation, disability, or familial status. Nevada law explicitly defines the latter three discriminatory classes as follows.

Definitions Explained

  1. “Sexual Orientation” is defined as:
      • Having or being perceived has having an orientation for heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.
  2. “Disability” is defined as:
      • A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the person;
      • A record of such an impairment; or
      • Being regarded as having such an impairment.

      Disability discrimination is similar to sexual orientation discrimination. The person potentially renting, selling, or leasing does not have to be officially diagnosed with a disability in order to be discriminated against based on their disability. Simply perceiving that the person has a disability and refuses to convey the property based solely on that reason is a discriminatory practice and therefore unlawful.

  3. “Familial Status” is defined as a person that:
  • Lives with a child under the age of 18 and has lawful custody of that child, or
  • Lives with a child under the age of 18 and has written permission to live with the child from the person who has legal custody of the child
  • Is pregnant; or
  • Has begun proceedings to adopt or otherwise obtain lawful custody of a child.

Defenses to Housing Discrimination

If you are charged with having committed discriminatory housing practices the States of Nevada is required to show that you discriminated against the person due to their inclusion in a discriminatory class. There are several defenses that an experienced attorney can raise to disprove the state’s allegations including:

  • Non-discriminatory refusal. If an attorney can show that you refused a person housing for a reason other than their inclusion in a discriminatory class, the charges likely will not stand.

Speak to an Experienced Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney Today

It is crucial that anyone who rents, sells, or leases homes; or authorizes home loans is familiar with discriminatory classes in housing. If a person refuses to rent, sell, lease, or grant a home loan to a person simply because they fall into one of the above mentioned discriminatory classes, they have committed a discriminatory housing practice and may be subject to civil or criminal action because of it. If you have been charged with a discriminatory housing crime speak to our Nevada attorneys today.

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