25 Jul Fair Housing-It’s Your Right
he Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination when they are renting, buying, or securing financing for any housing. The prohibitions specifically cover discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and the presence of children.
THE RESPONSIBILITIES: The home seller, the home seeker, and the real estate professional all have rights and responsibilities under the law. For the Home Seller: As a home seller or landlord you have a responsibility and a requirement under the law not to discriminate in the sale, rental and financing of property on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. You cannot instruct the licensed broker or salesperson acting as your agent to convey for you any limitations in the sale or rental because the real estate professional is also bound by law not to discriminate. Under the law, a home seller or landlord cannot establish discriminatory terms or conditions in the purchase or rental; deny that housing is available, or advertise that the property is available only to persons 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 without discrimination or other limitations based on race, color, religion, sex handicap, familial status, or national origin. This includes the right to expect:
• Housing in your price range made available to you without discrimination;
• Equal professional service;
• The opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices;
• No discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of housing;
• No discrimination in the financing, appraising, or insuring of housing;
• Reasonable accommodations in rules, practices and procedures for persons with disabilities;
• Non-discriminatory terms and conditions fo the sale, rental, financing, or insuring of a dwelling; and
• To be free from harassment or intimidation for exercising your fair housing rights
THE REALTOR® FAIR HOUSING PROGRAM: The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS has developed a Fair Housing Program to provide resources and guidance to REALTORS in ensuring equal professional services for all people. The term REALTOR identifies a licensed professional in real estate who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. Not all licensed real estate brokers and salespersons are members of the National Association, and only those who are may identify themselves as REALTORS. They conduct their business and activities in accordance with a strict Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics Article 10 of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS: Code of Ethics provides that “REALTORS shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. REALTORS shall not be a party to any plan or agreement to discriminate 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 letter of the Code of Ethics. Article 10 imposes obligations upon REALTORS and is also 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 the Code of Ethics filed by a home seeker who alleges discriminatory treatment in the availability, purchase or rental of housing. Local Boards of REALTORS have a responsibility to enforce the Code of Ethics through professional standards procedures and corrective action in cases where a violation 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 nearest office of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), or by calling HUD’s toll free numbers, 1-800-699-9777 (voice), or 1-800-543-8294 (TDD). Contact HUD on the internet at http://www.hud.gov.