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
Americans with Disabilities Act
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination
against persons with disabilities in places of public accommodations and
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 and local laws often provide broader coverage and prohibit
discrimination based on additional classes not covered by federal law.
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
Housing in your price range made available to you without
Equal professional service;
The opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices;
No discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of
No discrimination in the financing, appraising, or insuring of
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; and
To be free from harassment or intimidation for exercising your fair
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.
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
IF YOU SUSPECT DISCRIMINATION
Call the Local Board of REALTORS®
Local Boards of REALTORS® will accept complaints alleging violations of
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
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