I've spoken with a landowner in the rural area of Saratoga, California, who owns a single parcel with more land than he knows what to do with, and I asked him why doesn't he build an MDU or some such, to which he replied that the city will never allow to re-zone and/or split the parcel of the land he owns, and that neighbours and such will generally be against any such arrangements, because it'll increase crime and drive the property values down.

However, what if said MDU had a restriction that only certain occupations could partake in it? Would it be possible to build a condo or an apartment complex, yet have some kind of restrictions such that you have to be an engineer or executive or some such, in order to either own or lease the condo / apartment? Or, perhaps, that each unit has to, (1), have at least a single occupant with an income much larger than what's normally considered adequate to service the rent, and, (2), no roommates from craigslist unrelated to the occupant? Could it be made that some such covenant has to survive all future sale/lease/rent of any unit?

  • First thing that comes to mind is the military housing. In the military, housing is a benefit, and they can restrict the residents. But without a company or group of companies to restrict the arrangement, i'm not sure if its possible.
    – Jdahern
    Jul 1, 2015 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


Not in the state of California. California law prohibits discrimination based on source of income; only discrimination based on amount of income is allowed. See the California Government Code, section 12955. It is not even legal to indicate a preferred source of income in the advertisement; landlords may ask prospective tenants about the source of income, but may not discriminate or indicate preference for a particular source (provided it's a lawful source).

Also, you can't really force a city to re-zone based on "I'll make sure this bad thing doesn't happen." If the city doesn't want to re-zone, they won't re-zone. You have no right to force them to re-zone; this is especially true when the property was purchased under those zoning rules (if the buyer didn't like them, they didn't have to buy).

  • So, yes, it appears that source of income is a protected class; however, what about occupation by itself? Is occupation the same as source of income?
    – cnst
    Jun 21, 2015 at 6:35
  • i've created a follow-up question: law.stackexchange.com/questions/692/…
    – cnst
    Jun 21, 2015 at 6:40

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