Fair Housing–Advertising? Or MLS violation?

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MLSOK  routinely fields calls regarding fair housing language.

So if you need a refresher on fair housing advertising…keep reading! We’ve also highlighted the most common violations seen by MLSOK.  Remember:  Fair Housing is THE LAW.

§ 109.20 Use of words, phrases, symbols, and visual aids.

The following words, phrases, symbols, and forms typify those most often used in residential
real estate advertising to convey either overt or tacit discriminatory preferences or limitations. In
considering a complaint under the Fair Housing Act, the Department will normally consider the use
of these and comparable words, phrases, symbols, and forms to indicate a possible violation of the
act and to establish a need for further proceedings on the complaint, if it is apparent from the
context of the usage that discrimination within the meaning of the act is likely to result.
(a) Words descriptive of dwelling, landlord, and tenants. White private home, Colored home,
Jewish home, Hispanic residence, adult building.
(b) Words indicative of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin

(1) Race–Negro, Black, Caucasian, Oriental, American Indian.

(2) Color–White, Black, Colored.

(3) Religion–Protestant, Christian, Catholic, Jew.

(4) National origin–Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Philippine, Polish, Hungarian, Irish,
Italian, Chicano, African, Hispanic, Chinese, Indian, Latino.

(5) Sex–the exclusive use of words in advertisements, including those involving the rental of
separate units in a single or multi-family dwelling, stating or tending to imply that the housing
being advertised is available to persons of only one sex and not the other, except where the sharing
of living areas is involved. Nothing in this part restricts advertisements of dwellings used
exclusively for dormitory facilities by educational institutions.

(6) Handicap–crippled, blind, deaf, mentally ill, retarded, impaired, handicapped, physically
fit. Nothing in this part restricts the inclusion of information about the availability of accessible
housing in advertising of dwellings.

(7) Familial status–adults, children, singles, mature persons. Nothing in this part restricts
advertisements of dwellings which are intended and operated for occupancy by older persons and
which constitute housing for older persons as defined in Part 100 of this title.

(8) Catch words–Words and phrases used in a discriminatory context should be avoided, e.g.,
restricted, exclusive, private, integrated, traditional, board approval or membership approval.

(c) Symbols or logotypes. Symbols or logotypes which imply or suggest race, color, religion,
sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(d) Colloquialisms. Words or phrases used regionally or locally which imply or suggest race,
color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

(e) Directions to real estate for sale or rent (use of maps or written instructions). Directions
can imply a discriminatory preference, limitation, or exclusion. For example, references to real
estate location made in terms of racial or national origin significant landmarks, such as an existing
black development (signal to blacks) or an existing development known for its exclusion of
minorities (signal to whites). Specific directions which make reference to a racial or national origin
significant area may indicate a preference. References to a synagogue, congregation or parish may
also indicate a religious preference.

(f) Area (location) description. Names of facilities which cater to a particular racial, national
origin or religious group, such as country club or private school designations,

The full reference can be found at:  http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/library/part109.pdf

a quick faq can be found at:  https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/FHLaws/yourrights

 

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