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Honorably Discharged Veteran & Military Status In Housing

Honorably Discharged Veteran & Military Status In Housing

Under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.60), it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of "honorably discharged veteran or military status." The law applies to[1]:

  • Any individual who served in any branch of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves, fulfilled his or her service obligations, and received an honorable discharge or a discharge for medical reasons with an honorable record.
  • Any individual who is currently an active or reserve member in any branch of the Armed Forces.


Under the Fair Housing Act, housing providers cannot:

  • Use ads that prohibit military persons
  • Deny an applicant based on military or veteran status
  • Apply different terms or conditions
  • Make disparaging comments about the appearance or practice of a military or veteran group
  • Enforce a neutral rule that has a disproportionately negative impact on military persons or veterans.


Some potential signs of veteran or military status-based discrimination could be:

  • Prioritizing applicants on a waiting list based on veteran status
  • Setting different rents or fees for tenants based on veteran or military status
  • Delaying repair requests based on a tenant’s perceived veteran status
  • Considering a tenant’s military status before pursuing eviction


Any housing provider who discharges, expels or otherwise discriminates against a person for filing a complaint with the Human Rights Commission is engaging in an unfair practice. If a Veteran or person with military status feels that a housing provider has acted in retaliation for his or her filing a complaint, that should be reported as well.



The work that provided the bases for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations continued in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.