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Fair Housing Laws

Updated as of 8/29/04.

California State and Federal laws protect your right to be treated fairly in connection with any real estate-related transaction.  Whitcombe & Co. takes fair housing laws very seriously.

Relevant Laws

Federal and state fair housing laws create a level playing field for all homebuyers, and prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin.

Federal Laws

Civil Rights Act of 1866

The federal Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibits all racial discrimination in the sale or rental of property.

Civil Rights Act of 1968 and 1988 Amendment

In leasing or sale of residential property, the Civil Rights Act of 1968 expands the definition of discrimination to include not only race, but also national origin, color, and religion. The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 further broadens the definition to include age, sex, and handicapped status.

Fair Housing Act

The federal Fair Housing Act of 1988 and Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 are referred to as the Fair Housing Act. The Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, lease or rental of housing, or making housing otherwise unavailable because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status or national origin.

Americans with Disabilities Act

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in commercial facilities and places of public accommodation.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act

The federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against anyone on a credit application due to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, and (with certain exceptions for senior housing communities) age or because all or part of an applicant's income comes from any public assistance program.

California State Laws

Unruh Civil Rights Act

The Unruh Act guarantees states that all persons in California are entitled to full and equal accommodation, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments without regard to their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, or disability, and/or (with certain exceptions for senior housing communities) age.

Fair Employment And Housing Act (FEHA)

FEHA prohibits discrimination in supplying housing accommodations on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, age (with certain exceptions for senior housing communities), familial status or disability.

Your Rights and Responsibilities

Sellers' Responsibilities

As a home seller or landlord, you are obligated not to discriminate in the sale, rental or financing of your property on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status or national origin. Likewise, you cannot do so through your licensed broker or salesperson. Such persons are also bound by anti-discrimination laws. You may not set any discriminatory terms or conditions in a purchase contract or a lease. Additionally, you may not deny that housing is available or advertise a property's availability only to persons of a certain race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status or national origin.

Real Estate Professionals' Responsibilities

Real Estate agents, mortgage brokers and loan officers in a real estate transaction may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, age (with certain exceptions for senior housing communities), familial status or disability.  Likewise, they may not follow such instructions from a home seller or landlord.

What To Do if You Feel the Law Has Been Violated

Discrimination complaints about housing may be filed with the nearest office of the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or by calling HUD's telephone numbers, (202)708-1112 (Voice) or (202)708-1455 (TTY). Or contact HUD on the Internet at http://www.hud.gov/fhe/fheo.html. You can also Contact the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (FEHA). You can find contact information for FEHA at their website, www.dfeh.ca.gov.

 

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