Seventy percent of Kent State’s 28,000+ students live off campus, according to the university’s student body profile

However, Lauren Green, associate director of the Fair Housing Contact Service (FCHS), said many people are unaware of their rights as a tenant.  

“In general I would say no,” Green said. “There is a lot that people don’t know when it comes to housing.”

The Fair Housing Contact Service is a non-profit based in Akron whose mission is to eliminate housing discrimination and promote equal housing opportunity. 

In 1968, the Fair Housing Act was created to give tenants the right to be protected from being discriminated against based on color, disability, familial status, national origin, race, religion and sex. The Fair Housing Contact Service offers a number of resources to both tenants and landlords to assure that right is upheld. 

Tenants can call FCHS with a housing discrimination complaint and FCHS will assist the tenant in filing the complaint with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. FCHS receives funding from the federal government to investigate complaints of housing discrimination. 

The FCHS website provides a number of digital resources for both tenants and landlords including updated Ohio landlord-tenant laws, sample landlord letters and education on the Fair Housing Act. 

FCHS also offers over the phone counseling for buying a home, foreclosure prevention and disputes between landlords and tenants regarding possible discrimination. FCHS is approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development as a housing counseling agency. 

Green said the most important thing for tenants to know is that they should never stop paying their rent. Under Ohio Revised Code, if a tenant does not pay rent on time their landlord can then evict the tenant immediately. 

For more information, visit the FCHS website or call 330-376-6191.

Contact Michael Reed at mreed66@kent.edu.

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