Whether you are buying, selling, or renting property, know that there are laws and ordinances in place to protect you from discrimination. The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers, lenders, and real estate professionals from discriminating against you based on your race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), national origin, familial status, or disability. Discrimination Takes Many Forms It might not be an offensive comment said to your face. You may not even know it is happening. For example, sellers and landlords cannot set different terms, conditions, or privileges for sales or rentals based on the protected classes. They also cannot impose different sale prices or rental charges. Agents cannot steer you toward or away from a neighborhood based on the protected classes as well. You can find a list of many more prohibited actions online by searching the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website for examples of housing discrimination. Your REALTOR® Is Committed to Promoting and Upholding Fair Housing REALTORS® adhere to the highest professional standards—beyond what the law requires. When agreeing to abide by the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, your REALTOR® has also pledged to not use harassing speech, hate speech, epithets, or slurs based on the protected classes. The Code of Ethics also prohibits discriminatory employment practices. REALTORS® also may not refuse to cooperate with another real estate broker based on the protected classes. Rest assured that your REALTOR® is with you every step of the way to explain, support, and guide you through your sale, purchase, or rental. Your REALTOR® can help you find a place to call home—an essential part of the American Dream. By hiring a REALTOR® , you will get the help you need and the professional, unbiased treatment to which you are entitled. Learn more about fair housing, including how to file complaints.
The federal Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. Prohibited actions include refusing to sell or rent housing, setting different terms for housing or a mortgage, discouraging the purchase or rental of a property, and other discriminatory behaviors. Since 1968, all consumers have been protected by the Fair Housing Act from discrimination in housing transactions. Here’s how the act benefits you. It Protects Everyone The act protects you and everyone else from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability— those are called the seven protected classes. What the Act Means Sellers and landlords can’t discriminate in the sale or rental of property on the basis of someone’s race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. They also can’t tell their agents to limit the availability of property based on the same seven classes, establish terms or conditions in the purchase or rental that are discriminatory, or advertise that the property is available only to people of a certain race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. Where to Report a Violation If you suspect your federal fair housing rights have been violated, you can file a complaint at hud.gov. If you believe a REALTOR® has not upheld the standards set out in the Code of Ethics, you can file a complaint at texasrealestate.com.