This landmark rules handed 50 years in the past — learn your rights and how to shield them.
If you’ve searched for a new region to stay recently, you’ve likely seen the Equal Housing Opportunity brand (an equal signal inner a house) on a landlord’s, actual estate agent’s or lender’s paperwork.
But the Fair Housing Act is greater than just a logo. It’s a federal law designed to protect renters and consumers from discrimination.
Here are some key points to be aware of about the Fair Housing Act when you’re looking out for a area to live.
What is the Fair Housing Act?
Also acknowledged as the Civil Rights Act of 1968, the Fair Housing Act used to be signed into law by means of President Lyndon B. Johnson simply days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., who had championed the purpose for many years.
The act prohibits housing discrimination primarily based on race, color, religion, country wide origin, sex, disability and familial fame (sex used to be brought in 1974, and incapacity and familial status were introduced in 1988).
At the time the act was once signed, overt housing discrimination was a massive trouble all through the country, together with the attempted segregation of total neighborhoods and the outright rejection of certified renters primarily based on race and different factors.
Today, lots of the discrimination in the housing market is less obvious, however it’s nevertheless an unfortunate reality.
According to the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), over 25,000 housing discrimination complaints were filed with the federal authorities and nearby and country wide fair housing companies in 2017. Over half of the complaints had been based on disability, followed by race at 20 percent.
But these numbers replicate only stated incidents. The NFHA estimates that over 4 million instances of housing discrimination show up annually, however many human beings don’t recognize they’ve been discriminated against — or know what steps to take when it happens.
What does housing discrimination appear like?
Most of the humans you stumble upon in your domestic search, together with real property agents, sellers, landlords, property administration corporations and lenders, are sure to Fair Housing Act policies and extra country and neighborhood laws, based totally on the place you stay or are looking to live.
Fair Housing Act violations can happen in all phases of shopping for and renting, such as in advertising, while you search, for the duration of the application process, in financing or credit checks, and all through eviction proceedings.
Here are a few examples of discrimination human beings in protected classes have encountered:
- A real estate agent tries to “steer” a buyer away from a sure neighborhood
- A landlord tries to keep away from renting to someone by means of pronouncing the unit advertised has been rented when it hasn’t
- A property management employer refuses to rent to a household with children or requires a higher deposit
- A landlord evicts a character of shade for a motive they wouldn’t evict a white tenant for
- A personal loan broker asks questions or requests excessive documentation from an immigrant couple that they wouldn’t request from another buyer
- A lender fees a single girl a higher activity charge than what her credit rating need to dictate
- A landlord refuses to make lifelike lodging for a tenant who is disabled
- What do I do if I’ve been discriminated against?
- If you’ve been discriminated in opposition to in any of the ways above, or if you suspect that other moves taken by way of a property manager, landlord, real estate agent, dealer or lender may be discriminatory, there are many resources at your disposal.
File a report: File a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at HUD.gov. You can additionally file a complaint with local housing sources discovered thru the NFHA.
Get greater data from local housing agencies: You can discover a list of local housing counselors at HUD.gov. Besides answering questions about discrimination claims, these corporations provide domestic purchaser training workshops, pre-purchase counseling and rental housing assistance.
Talk to an attorney: Like any different legal issue, when pursuing a complaint underneath the Fair Housing Act, it’s clever to consult a lawyer.
Find individuals you can trust: If you experienced housing discrimination from your real property agent, loan broker or lender, it’s time to discover a new professional to assist you in your domestic search. Ask friends, family members and colleagues for referrals they know, like and trust. Remember — these actual estate professionals are working for you, so their only subject must be discovering you the domestic that’s proper for you.