What The Fair Housing Act Means for You

March 11, 2021

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What The Fair Housing Act Means for You

It is always important to be aware of your rights in any situation. The housing and mortgage market is no different. The Fair Housing Act was put in place in 1968 and exists solely to protect your housing rights. 

Who’s covered?

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits discrimination against anyone regarding their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and/or disability. While discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is not yet covered in the FHA, steps are being taken to expand coverage to more people. This is being done through a universal form called the URLA, which is becoming the norm and collects more information than ever before. 

What does it protect you from?

The FHA ensures that mortgage lenders, brokers, real estate agents, and all other home market personnel are legally unable to discriminate against people due to any above-listed identity. This means that you cannot be disallowed from renting or owning a home, living in any neighborhood, being evicted from your home, or being harassed based on the attributes mentioned earlier. A complete list of prohibited acts can be found below. 

Prohibited activities by FHA law 

  • Refuse to rent or sell housing
  • Refuse to negotiate for housing
  • Otherwise, make housing unavailable
  • Set different terms, conditions, or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide a person different housing services or facilities
  • Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
  • Make, print, or publish any notice, statement, or advertisement concerning the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination
  • Impose different sales prices or rental charges for the sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Use different qualification criteria or applications, or sale or rental standards or procedures, such as income standards, application requirements, application fees, credit analyses, sale or rental approval procedures, or other conditions
  • Evict a tenant or a tenant’s guest
  • Harass a person
  • Fail or delay performance of maintenance or repairs
  • Limit privileges, services, or facilities of a dwelling
  • Discourage the purchase or rental of a dwelling
  • Assign a person to a particular building or neighborhood or section of a building or neighborhood
  • For-profit, persuade or try to convince homeowners to sell their homes by suggesting that people of a particular protected characteristic are about to move into the neighborhood (blockbusting)
  • Refuse to provide or discriminate in the terms or conditions of homeowners insurance because of the race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin of the owner and/or occupants of a dwelling
  • Deny access to or membership in any multiple listing service or real estate brokers’ organization

If you believe you or someone in your household is facing discrimination, please contact HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) as soon as possible. 

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