Equal Housing Opportunity
What everyone should know about equal opportunity in
The sale and purchase of a home is one of the most significant
events that any person will experience in his lifetime. It is
more than the simple purchase of housing, for it includes the
hopes, dreams, aspirations and economic destiny of those
involved in it.
Equal Opportunity In
Housing is the law of the land and the right of all in this
country without regard to race, color, religion, sex,
handicap, familial status, or national origin.
Civil Rights Act of 1866
The Civil Rights Act of
1866 provides that │All citizens of the United States shall
have the same right, in every State and Territory as is
enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, lease,
sell, hold and convey real and personal property."
In the case of Jones vs.
Mayer decided on June 17, 1968, the U. S. Supreme Court held
that the 1866 law prohibits "all racial discrimination,
private as well as public, in the sale or rental of property."
Fair Housing Act
In Title VIII of the 1968
Civil Rights Act known as the Federal Fair Housing Law
Congress declared a national policy of fair housing throughout
the United States.
The law made illegal any
discrimination in the sale, lease or rental of real property
based on race, color religion, sex or national origin. The law
required that all people be treated equally with respect to
the terms or conditions of sale, purchase, lease or rental and
with no denial of equal housing opportunity based on race,
color, religion, sex or national origin.
The Fair Housing Amendments
Act of 1988 was enacted September 13, 1988 (and became
effective March 12, 1989) to strengthen the administrative
enforcement provision of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of
1968, to add prohibitions against discrimination in housing on
the basis of handicap (mental and physical) and familial
status (families with children under age 18), and to provide
stiffer penalties for violations relating to discriminatory
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 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 on the basis of race, color, religion,
sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.
Under the law a home seller
or landlord cannot establish discriminatory terms or
conditions in the purchase or rental; deny that housing is
available for inspection, sale or rent when in fact it 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 should know that 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. It is available to you on terms and conditions which
are non-discriminatory under the law.
You should know that in
essence the law mandates equal professional service for all
For The Real Estate
As a home seller or home
seeker, you should know that the terms REALTOR« and
REALTOR-ASSOCIATES« identify 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« and
REALTOR-ASSOCIATES«. 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.
The Member Board of
REALTORS« in your city or town can give you more information
about filing and handling of a professional standards
complaint. Complaints alleging discrimination in housing may
also be filed with the nearest office of the Department of
Housing and Urban Development or by calling HUD's toll free
1-800-669-9777 or 1-800-543-8294 (TDD)