WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IN HOUSING
The sale and purchase of a home is one of the most significant events thatan individual will experience in their lifetime. It is more than the
simplepurchase of housing, for it directly impacts the hopes, dreams,
aspirations,and economic destiny of those involved. It is for this reason that the
FairHousing Act and other federal and state laws were enacted to guarantee aright to a national housing market free from discrimination based on race,color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, and national origin. THE LAW
Civil Rights Act of 1866
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibits all racial discrimination in the
saleor rental of property.
Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act declares a national policy of fair housing throughoutthe United States. The law makes illegal any discrimination in the sale,lease or rental of housing, or making housing otherwise unavailable,
becauseof race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or nationalorigin.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discriminationagainst persons with disabilities in places of public accommodations andcommercial facilities.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act makes discrimination unlawful with
respectto any aspect of a credit application on the basis of race, color,
religion,national origin, sex, marital status, age or because all or part of theapplicant's income derives from any public assistance program.
State and Local Laws
State and local laws often provide broader coverage and prohibitdiscrimination based on additional classes not covered by federal law.THE RESPONSIBILITIES
The home seller, the home seeker, and the real estate professional all
haverights and responsibilities under the law.
For the Home Seller
As a home seller or landlord you have a responsibility and a requirementunder the law not to discriminate in the sale, rental and financing ofproperty on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familialstatus, or national origin. You cannot instruct the licensed broker orsalesperson acting as your agent to convey for you any limitations in thesale or rental because the real estate professional is also bound by law
notto discriminate. Under the law, a home seller or landlord cannot
establishdiscriminatory terms or conditions in the purchase or rental; deny thathousing is available, or advertise that the property is available only topersons of a certain race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial
status,or national origin.
For the Home Seeker
You have the right to expect that housing will be available to you withoutdiscrimination or other limitations based on race, color, religion, sex,handicap, familial status, or national origin.This includes the right to expect:
a.. Housing in your price range made available to you withoutdiscrimination;
b.. Equal professional service;
c.. The opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices;
d.. No discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of
e.. No discrimination in the financing, appraising, or insuring ofhousing;
f.. Reasonable accommodations in rules, practices and procedures forpersons with disabilities;
g.. Non-discriminatory terms and conditions for the sale, rental,financing, or insuring of a dwelling; and
h.. To be free from harassment or intimidation for exercising your fairhousing rights.
For the Real Estate Professional
Agents in a real estate transaction are prohibited by law fromdiscriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap,familial status, or national origin. A request from the home seller orlandlord to act in a discriminatory manner in the sale, lease or rentalcannot legally be fulfilled by the real estate professional. THE REALTOR® FAIR HOUSING PROGRAM
The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has developed a Fair Housing Programto provide resources and guidance to REALTORS® in ensuring equalprofessional services for all people. The term REALTOR® identifies alicensed professional in real estate who is a member of the NATIONALASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Not all licensed real estate brokers andsalespersons are members of the National Association, and only those who
aremay identify themselves as REALTORS®. They conduct their business andactivities in accordance with a strict Code of Ethics.
The Code of Ethics
Article 10 of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Code of Ethics
providesthat "REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person
forreasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, ornational origin. REALTORS® shall not be a party to any plan or agreement
todiscriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color,religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin."
A REALTOR® pledges to conduct business in keeping with the spirit and
letterof the Code of Ethics. Article 10 imposes obligations upon REALTORS® and
isalso a firm statement of support for equal opportunity in housing. IF YOU SUSPECT DISCRIMINATION
Call the Local Board of REALTORS®
Local Boards of REALTORS® will accept complaints alleging violations of
theCode of Ethics filed by a home seeker who alleges discriminatory treatmentin the availability, purchase or rental of housing. Local Boards ofREALTORS® have a responsibility to enforce the Code of Ethics throughprofessional standards procedures and corrective action in cases where aviolation of the Code of Ethics is proven to have occurred.
Call the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Complaints alleging discrimination in housing may be filed with the
nearestoffice of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD), or by calling HUD's toll free numbers, 1-800-669-9777 (voice), or1-800-543-8294 (TDD).