“Refusing to rent to somebody, because they have tattoos may be unfair, but it’s not necessarily discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, unless the tattoos are specific to the person’s religion or national origin,” said Sandy Tamez of the San Antonio Fair Housing Council.
At least that’s the attitude in San Antonio, Texas, where an apartment complex called The Villas, precludes those with excessive body tattoos, and, apparently, too many piercings as well. Edward Frankel, one of the co-owners of The Villas and other apartment complexes, states that this rule also goes for people with “tattoos exposed on the neck, hands and wrists…” and also applies to people who have their eyebrow and/or tongue pierced, more than two nose rings or more than five earrings.
While perhaps not technically illegal, this is one of those practices which, at least in this author’s opinion, might not be worth the risk of a lawsuit or bad national publicity. I also can see a disparate impact claim arising, because this probably could be shown to result in discrimination against the young, and military veterans.