Sales

 

FAIR HOUSING AND SALES

Discrimination against a member of a protected class in the sale or rental of real property is prohibited by federal, state, and local laws.  The Fair Housing Act holds real estate agents to fair and ethical standards of practice in how they market and sell homes, and sets limits to prevent unfair or discriminatory practices.

 

US housing policy has attempted to address the systemic racism problem in housing by banning the discriminatory practice for decades.  Unfortunately, the housing market remains structured to disproportionately make homeownership harder to attain for Black and brown households which is evidenced by a Black homeownership rate that has had little movement since the 1960s. 

 

COMMON EXAMPLES OF DISCRIMINATION IN HOUSING SALES  INCLUDE:

  • Direct refusal or denial of access to membership in a facility of service (IE: MLS)

  • A false representation of home availability

  • Additional application requirements that disqualify or target a specific group of people

  • Unfair financing or loan qualifications

  • Steering, or restrictions on an individual’s choice of housing such as only showing homes in neighborhoods with similar racial or ethnic makeup as the buyer

KNOW YOUR REAL ESTATE/SALESPERSONS RULES AND REGULATIONS:

  • Real estate agents are bound by anti-discrimination laws and regulations including the Fair Housing Act and state law.

  • Real estate agents cannot negotiate discriminatory terms of sale, rental, or lease agreements; like stating a different price because of race, national origin, or other protected class

  • Real estate agents cannot discriminate by “steering” a prospective buyer or renter toward or away from a certain neighborhood

  • Real estate agents cannot discriminate by “blockbusting” or represent that a change has occurred or may occur in an area that might lead to undesirable consequences for that area. 

  • Agents are not allowed to answer certain buyer questions; for instance, by law, they cannot answer questions about the ethnic makeup of a neighborhood.

NEW YORK STATE LAWS THAT YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF BEFORE THE SALE:

 

New York’s Human Rights Law (N.Y. Executive Law §296); Civil Rights Law (Article 2-A, §§18-19), Real Property Law §227-d and Public Housing Law (Article XI §223) 

 

New York’s License Law (Article 12A of the Real Property Law) requires that all licensees be trustworthy and competent, which includes compliance with anti-discrimination legislation.

New York State Anti-Discrimination Disclosure and Notice Requirements. 19 NYCRR §175.28 

If you believe you have been the victim of housing discrimination in housing sales, please contact us for assistance.

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RESOURCES

 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD) RESOURCES