How to Appeal an Apartment Denial

Due to financial circumstances, you may request apartment housing help through state and federal agencies. The application for public housing allows you the chance to find a place for rent with a landlord engaged in subsidized housing. Yet your application may be denied for several reasons, such as a criminal record, illegal drug use or past disturbances with neighbors. You can file an appeal regarding the decision if you believe the denial decision does not apply to you, or the family member with the record no longer lives with you.

Review the denial letter. Contact the Tenant Selection Office for the apartment housing agency through the phone number on the letter. Ask for a detailed explanation concerning the denial and what facts where used for the decision.

Request the citation of the laws used to deny residency, if applicable, and the entire file regarding your application. Contact your local legal services office to obtain a copy of the regulation or law. Review the regulation in preparation for your appeal hearing.

Write a letter requesting for a hearing, also known as a conference in some locales. Address it to the person listed in the denial letter.

Make copies of your denial letter and application file. Obtain witnesses and documents to support your eligibility for apartment housing.

Attend the hearing with the housing authority. State your case about how the denial was unwarranted or that the reasons for the denial do not apply to you. Have your credible witnesses state your reputation as a good tenant who would not violate any of the subsidized housing laws.

Await the decision from the housing authority. You can also file a lawsuit with a federal district court for the wrongful denial. Contact your legal aid office through the state's Bar Association. Have your documents reviewed to determine if you have a legitimate case for a court hearing.


  • Fix any errors found on your credit reports that may have led to the denial for apartment housing. You will need to contact all three credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Trans Union and Experian — to have an investigation performed to fix the credit errors.

    File a complaint with the HUD if your application was denied due to discrimination based on a disability. HUD will perform an investigation at no cost regarding the denial.


  • Legal aid offices only accept cases that will not award the attorney monetary fees.