Q. I rent an apartment in three-year-old condo building that is about 20% renters. It's a beautiful building, but the attitude of the owners toward the renters is not.
Basically, we are treated like third-class citizens. We can't have dogs, or use the roof deck or the gym. We have to register overnight guests with the doorman, we can't use the bike room and we have to pay twice as much to rent out the amenity area intended for parties. The staff doesn't extend themselves for us like they seem to do for owners.
The next thing you know they're going to make us take the stairs instead of the elevator!
Is this normal? Is it even legal to discriminate against renters? What can we do?
A. Separate and unequal treatment of renters in a condo building is fairly common and probably legal, say ourexperts.
When it comes to housing discrimination laws, renters are not a legally 'protected class,' explains real estate broker and attorney Mike Akerly of Akerly Real Estate. So while a condo can't create rules and regulations that discriminate based on race, color, creed, age, national origin, alienage, citizenship status and other protected classes, "there are no laws that prohibit a condominium from creating rules that treat renters and owners differently with regard to the rules and regulations that govern their building," he says.