our blog

 

What You Need to Know About the Fair Housing Act

by | Mar 14, 2020 | Real Estate

This landmark legislation passed 50 years ago — learn your rights and how to defend them.

If you’ve searched for a new place to live recently, you’ve likely seen the Equal Housing Opportunity logo (an equal sign inside a house) on a landlord’s, real estate agent’s or lender’s paperwork.

But the Fair Housing Act is more than just a logo. It’s a federal law designed to protect renters and buyers from discrimination.

Here are some key points to know about the Fair Housing Act when you’re searching for a place to live.

What is the Fair Housing Act?

Also known as the Civil Rights Act of 1968, the Fair Housing Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson just days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., who had championed the cause for many years.

The act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status (sex was added in 1974, and disability and familial status were added in 1988).

At the time the act was signed, overt housing discrimination was a huge problem throughout the country, including the attempted segregation of whole neighborhoods and the outright rejection of qualified renters based on race and other factors.

Today, much of the discrimination in the housing market is less obvious, but it’s still an unfortunate reality.

According to the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), over 25,000 housing discrimination complaints were filed with the federal government and local and national fair housing agencies in 2017. Over half of the complaints were based on disability, followed by race at 20 percent.

But these numbers reflect only reported incidents. The NFHA estimates that over 4 million instances of housing discrimination occur annually, but many people don’t realize they’ve been discriminated against — or know what steps to take when it happens.

What does housing discrimination look like?

Most of the people you encounter in your home search, including real estate agents, sellers, landlords, property management companies and lenders, are bound to Fair Housing Act regulations and additional state and local laws, based on where you live or are looking to live.

Fair Housing Act violations can occur in all phases of buying and renting, including in advertising, while you search, throughout the application process, in financing or credit checks, and during eviction proceedings.

Here are a few examples of discrimination people in protected classes have encountered:

  • A real estate agent tries to “steer” a buyer away from a certain neighborhood
  • A landlord tries to avoid renting to someone by saying the unit advertised has been rented when it hasn’t
  • A property management company refuses to rent to a family with children or requires a higher deposit
  • A landlord evicts a person of color for a reason they wouldn’t evict a white tenant for
  • A mortgage broker asks questions or requests excessive documentation from an immigrant couple that they wouldn’t request from another buyer
  • A lender charges a single woman a higher interest rate than what her credit score should dictate
  • A landlord refuses to make reasonable accommodations for a tenant who is disabled

What do I do if I’ve been discriminated against?

If you’ve been discriminated against in any of the ways above, or if you suspect that other actions taken by a property manager, landlord, real estate agent, broker or lender may be discriminatory, there are many resources at your disposal.

  1. File a report: File a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at HUD.gov. You can also file a complaint with local housing resources found through the NFHA.
  2. Get more info from local housing agencies: You can find a list of local housing counselors at HUD.gov. Besides answering questions about discrimination claims, these agencies provide home buyer education workshops, pre-purchase counseling and rental housing assistance.
  3. Talk to an attorney: Like any other legal issue, when pursuing a complaint under the Fair Housing Act, it’s smart to consult a lawyer.
  4. Find people you can trust: If you experienced housing discrimination from your real estate agent, mortgage broker or lender, it’s time to find a new professional to help you in your home search. Ask friends, family members and colleagues for referrals they know, like and trust. Remember — these real estate professionals are working for you, so their only concern should be finding you the home that’s right for you.

Related:

Powered by WPeMatico

MICKI ESPOSITO

MICKI ESPOSITO

BROKER

An accomplished real estate professional with a distinguished track record of success.  She has spent over 17 years in Atlanta representing buyers and sellers of $1M+ properties and is a tremendous negotiator.  Micki has a unique knack for forming close and authentic relationships with her clients; she steps beyond the real estate transaction and provide them with after care.  Micki has unparalleled marketplace knowledge and thrives on being resourceful; she studies and follows the data beyond the average agent.

WE CAN HELP YOU.

DON’T DELAY. NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME TO MAKE A MOVE.

Set up a FREE consultation with me today. I’ll be sure to make your real estate experience as unique, simple, and satisfying as I can.

Momentous-Staging
HOMEOWNERS GUIDE TO SELLING IT FAST 30-DAY PLAN
CSRA Market Update | Augusta Metro Real Estate Conditions | Augusta Realtor Micki Esposito

It’s All About Supply and Demand | HOME PRICES

As we enter the summer months and work through the challenges associated with the current health crisis, many are wondering what impact the economic slowdown will have on home prices. Looking at the big picture, supply and demand will give us the clearest idea of...

HOUSE OF THE DAY 😊

  Welcome to 215 Hornsby Lane located in the luxurious River Island neighborhood. This stunning move-in ready home is nestled in the charming cottage section of River Island, offering a lifestyle that combines modern luxury with timeless appeal. With a listing...

Real Estate Market Trends?

The Changing Real Estate Market: Remote Work and Technology The real estate industry is constantly evolving, my friend. Trends and factors shape how buyers, sellers, and agents navigate the market. Today, I want to discuss the latest market trends that are shaping the...

17 Hobbies Just Right to Become Money-Making Side Hustles

If you’re looking to make some extra money, side gigs like babysitting and Uber are great options, but they aren’t the only ones. Whether the pandemic quarantine ignited a love of baking or the excitement of shopping in stores again hasn’t worn off, you can find ways...

How To Sell Your Home With Better Listing Photos

Did you know that over 90 percent of buyers start their home search online, and most first impressions are made from online photos? If you want to make sure that people are interested in buying your home, you need to make sure that the impression it makes is a good...

6 Ways to Overcome the Emotions of Selling a Home

Selling your home can stir up a range of emotions you may not have expected. While you may feel excited about the opportunity to move into a new house, you may also experience feelings of sadness or loss as you prepare to sell your home. Use these tips to help...

5 SIMPLE WAYS TO ADD INSTANT CURB APPEAL.

            Don’t lose potential buyers due to any flaws or unsightliness on the exterior of your home. Use the tips below to wow people at the curb and get them in the door! The best part is, you don’t have to spend a fortune or break...

What does it mean to you: the Future of Home Price Appreciation?

Many consumers are wondering what will happen with home values over the next few years. Some are concerned that the recent run-up in home prices will lead to a situation similar to the housing crash 15 years ago. However, experts say the market is totally different...

WHAT OUR CLIENTS ARE SAYING.

"The Best of the Best"

“Best of the best! If you are looking for a personal, boutique-style home purchasing experience, I highly recommend Momentous Realty. Micki Esposito was fantastic! We discussed what I was looking for in a home in detail, and that same day, she emailed me a short list of properties tailored to what I asked for. I felt like she truly listened. No generic emails with 50 listings of houses you have to weed through yourself. She weeded through the fluff and was able to focus the search on homes I would actually consider. As a result, my home search actually went much quicker than I anticipated. Micki was there from the beginning and even after the closing. She was not only my realtor, she was an advisor and my advocate behind the scenes. I believe that because of all her hard work, the entire process was efficient and much more painless than I expected. I would not hesitate to work with her again and I cannot say enough good things about Micki!”

– Dr. A. Jeffery

Her in depth Knowledge & Integrity are clear from the start.

We were so lucky to have worked with Momentous Realty | Micki on our home purchase. Her involvement in leveraging our position in our home purchase and synergistic solutions are the very reason why we are homeowners today. Her service was beyond compare, even a more powerful statement knowing that we aren’t her typical market. Her strong in-depth knowledge + integrity are clear from the start.

– M/M Woodson, Senior Executives

The results were amazing

She was very professional. Kept us informed every step of the way for a quick worry-free closing. Definitely will use her again.

– Dathne Johnson

One Call That's All...

MICKI is awesome she will help you with all your real estate needs. One call that’s all. Thank you for everything Micki.

– Stacey Manson

The epitome of integrity and grace.

Micki is the epitome of integrity and grace. I love and appreciate her wisdom and willingness to share her words of knowledge with those that she encounters. I can always look to Micki to be uplifted and encouraged.

– Lease Youmans

Our Go-To Realtor, knowledgeable, professional & dependable.

We couldn’t have been any happier with Micki and her professionalism throughout our temporary relocation process to Metropolitan Atlanta during filming requirements. Almost immediately, Micki and her team provided us with leasing options based upon our family requirements. She thoroughly explained the leasing process, attended every showing with us, and provided us with enough information to ultimately make our decision to purchase another home within the area.

MICKI, thank you and your team for the amazing work!

– M/M Washington, Entertainment Industry

BECOME A MOMENTOUS INSIDER.

 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This