Housing rental laws exist on both state and federal levels. The most widely known federal laws come from Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, or Fair Housing Act.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing-related transactions based on race, religion, familial status (including the presence of children), color and national origin. The Fair Housing Act also protects people with disabilities.
Find a link to state rental laws on HUD.gov via the Find Rental Assistance tab under the I Want To heading on the left side of the home page. The Tenant Rights Laws and Protections In Your State link under the Your Rights and Responsibilities heading directs users to the list of states.