Can my boyfriend or girlfriend live with me?

Answer

For low-income housing funded through HUD, including the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, the answer is yes. For private renters, probably. It depends on the state in which you live. Marital status is not a protected category under federal law. Twenty states (including D.C.) do have legal provisions protecting people from discrimination based on marital status. But right now, many states don’t have specific laws against marital status discrimination.

In states without protection, landlords may ask questions about your marital status and may not rent to you if you are an unmarried couple. Also, there are many city and county ordinances prohibiting discrimination of gay and lesbian tenants. These local laws usually protect unmarried heterosexual couples, too. It is advisable to research your local ordinances and laws and find out what the rules are for the apartment or home you intend to rent.

More Housing Policy, Landlords, and Tenants FAQs from Low Income Households

  • How many bedrooms am I eligible for?
  • How much would my rent be?
  • Can I be evicted if my HUD apartment is sold?
  • How Much Are Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers Worth
  • What should a landlord expect when renting to a Section 8 voucher holder?