Fair Housing: The Rules of the Game
If you’re in the business of buying or selling real estate, you know that advertising your properties is crucial to attracting potential buyers or renters. But have you ever stopped to consider whether your advertisements are legal and non-discriminatory?
Real estate advertising can be a tricky business.
It’s important to make sure that the language you use in your ads doesn’t discriminate against any particular group of people. There are federal regulations in place to help clarify what types of property descriptions are appropriate and legal to use in an advertisement.
When it comes to race, color, and national origin, it’s important to avoid using language that could be interpreted as discriminatory. For example, using words like “Chinese family home” or “no Irish” could create liability. However, using neutral language like “master bedroom” or “good neighborhood” is perfectly fine.
Religion is another area where you need to be careful. Avoid using language that explicitly preferences, limits, or discriminates on account of religion. For example, using phrases like “no Muslims” or “good Christian home” is not acceptable. However, using the legal name of an entity that contains a religious reference, like “Roselawn Christian,” is okay if you include a disclaimer in your ad, like “This home does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or familial status.”
When it comes to gender, it’s important to avoid explicit preferences or limitations based on gender. The term “master bedroom” is okay to use, and terms like “mother-in-law suite” and “bachelor apartment” are commonly used descriptions that don’t violate the law.
Disability is another area where you need to be careful. Avoid using specific exclusions or limitations that could be interpreted as discriminatory. However, describing accessibility features like a “wheelchair ramp” is perfectly fine.
Finally, when it comes to familial status, it’s important to avoid explicit preferences or limitations based on whether someone has children or not. Describing properties as “two-bedroom” or “cozy” is fine, as is describing services and facilities like “no bicycles allowed.” Just be sure to avoid language that could be interpreted as discriminatory such as “perfect for a family with with kids”.
The Fair Housing poster
One way that HUD determines whether a broker has engaged in discriminatory practices is by looking at whether the broker has displayed the Fair Housing poster in their office. The Fair Housing poster is a notice that explains the federal Fair Housing Act and provides information about how to file a complaint if someone believes they have been the victim of discrimination.
When HUD investigates a broker for discriminatory practices, it considers failure to display the poster as evidence of discrimination. This is because the Fair Housing poster is required to be displayed by law, and failure to display it can be seen as an indication that the broker is not following fair housing laws.
Always include the HUD logo
When you’re advertising a home for sale, rent, or financing, it’s important to let everyone know that the property is available to everyone, no matter their race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. To make sure people know that the property is open to all, you should include an “equal housing opportunity” logo, statement, or slogan in your advertising.
In conclusion, ensuring fair housing compliance is a crucial aspect of real estate advertising. It is important to understand the guidelines set forth by HUD to ensure that your advertisements are inclusive and non-discriminatory. However, navigating these guidelines can be daunting and time-consuming. That’s where Skyland Creative comes in! Our team of experts is well-versed in fair housing regulations and can create effective, eye-catching ads that comply with all guidelines. With our help, you can have peace of mind knowing that your advertising is not only effective but also compliant. So why worry about compliance again? Contact us today and let us handle your real estate advertising needs!