Equal Housing

The sale and purchase of a home is one of the most significant events that any person will experience in their lifetime. It is more than the simple purchase of housing, for it includes the hopes, dreams aspirations, and economic destiny of those involved.

As a home seller or home seeker, you should know that 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 can identify themselves as REALTORS®. They conduct their business and activities in accordance with a strict Code of Ethics. As agents in a real estate transaction, licensed brokers or salespersons 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.

What Everyone Should Know About Equal Housing

The sale and purchase of a home is one of the most significant events that any person will experience in their lifetime. It is more than the simple purchase of housing, for it includes the hopes, dreams aspirations, and economic destiny of those involved.

 

THE LAW

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.

 

State and Local Laws

State of Iowa and local laws provide broader coverage and prohibit discrimination based on additional classes not covered by federal law.

Cedar Rapids Fair Housing (CRCRC)

 

 

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

You should know that 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 may not 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; or 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 your 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, in insuring of housing
  • Reasonable accommodations in rules, practices, and procedures for persons with disabilities
  • Non-discriminatory terms and conditions for the sale, rental, financing, or insuring of a dwelling
  • To be free from harassment or intimidation for exercising your fair housing rights

 

For the Real Estate Professional

As a home seller or home seeker, you should know that 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 can identify themselves as REALTORS®. They conduct their business and activities in accordance with a strict Code of Ethics. As agents in a real estate transaction, licensed brokers or salespersons 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.

 

DEED AND PROPERTY COVENANTS OR RESTRICTIONS OF RECORD

During the history of our country, some persons have placed restrictions on property based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. Generally, these restrictions are void and unenforceable, with limited exceptions for particular types of religious housing and housing for older persons.

THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY 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 Code of Ethics

Article 10 of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Code of Ethics requires 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. REALTORS®, 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 leter of the Code of Ethics. Article 10 imposes obligations upon REALTORS® and is also a firm statement of support for equal opportunity in housing.

 

FURTHER ASSISTANCE

Local boards of REALTORS® will accept complaints alleging violations of the Code of Ethics files by a home seeker who alleges discriminatory treatment by a REALTOR® 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.

Complaints alleging discrimination in housing may be filed with the nearest office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), or by calling HUD’s Discrimination Hotline at 1-800-669-9777, 1-800-927-9275 (TYY). Or, visit the HUD website at www.hud.gov.