One of the most basic rights for all Americans is having an opportunity to pursue and achieve the American dream of homeownership. April 2012 marks the 44th anniversary of the 1968 landmark Fair Housing Act. REALTORS® who are members of the National Association of REALTORS and Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS recognize the significance of this event and reconfirm our commitment to upholding fair housing law as well as our commitment to offering equal professional service to all in their search for real property.
What Everybody Should Know About Equal Opportunity in Housing
Civil Rights Act of 1866: The Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibits all racial discrimination in the sale or rental of property.
Fair Housing Act: The Fair Housing Act declares a national policy of fair housing throughout the United States. The law makes illegal any discrimination in the sale, lease or rental of housing, or making housing otherwise unavailable, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
Americans with Disabilities Act: Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in places of public accommodations and commercial facilities.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act: The Equal Credit Opportunity Act makes discrimination unlawful with respect to 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 the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program.
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.
For the Real Estate Professional: Agents in a real estate transaction are prohibited by law from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. A request from the home seller or landlord to act in a discriminatory manner in the sale, lease or rental cannot legally be fulfilled by the real estate professional.
REALTORS, who are members of the National Association of REALTORS and the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS 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 originREALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any 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, contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD at http://www.hud.gov.