The Fair Housing Act and Why It’s Important

Open door to a new home with key and home shaped keychain.

The Fair Housing Act was put in place to prevent discrimination and create an open market concentrated on equal opportunity. As we know, the sale and purchase of a home is one of the most significant events a person will experience, and it’s our job as real estate professionals to make sure people of all backgrounds are treated fairly.

It was passed in 1968 and is designed to prevent discrimination when people are trying to buy or rent a home, get a mortgage, find housing assistance, and more. The law prohibits discrimination based on a person’s race, color, disability, familial status, national origin, religion, or sex. Read more:

Steps You Need to Take:

  • Familiarize yourself with the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which prohibits all racial discrimination in the sale or rental of a property.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Americans Disabilities Act as well as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
  • Learn and study the Fair Housing Act and make sure you know exactly how you can abide by the law in everything you do. 
  • Study your state and local laws on fair housing. Almost every state adopted its own fair housing laws, and it is imperative you know and follow them. 
  • Constantly pause and ensure you’re not unintentionally violating any fair housing laws. Make a plan so you know how to ethically follow the guidelines, such as being mindful of what terminology and phrasing you should use. You must avoid language that could even be perceived as discriminating or implying a specific type of person. 
  • Provide your clients with beneficial resources and information so they understand the actions you can and cannot take and why. An informed client will be able to see why you approach things a particular way. Send them information on how to build a homebuying support system as well as why it’s against the law to violate the Fair Housing Act.

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