EQUAL PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
As members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), we comply with federal and state housing laws and the NAR Fair Housing in the U.S. and its global Non-Discrimination Policies. The NAR embraces diversity and inclusion. NAR opposes discrimination in housing and provision of professional services based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin, socioeconomic status, or political affiliation.
This policy is embodied in the NAR Code of Ethics. NAR also authorizes sanctions in response to a finding that a member has violated its Code of Ethics or any fair housing law, including local and state laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. NAR policy is to support equal opportunity on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and the NAR Code of Ethics was amended in 2010 and 2013, to include this updated policy in the Code of Ethics.
(Please note that many of these non-discrimination policies and legal responsibilities also apply to non-residential asset owners, investors, and users).
What Everyone Should Know About Equal Opportunity Housing
The sale and purchase of a home is one of the most significant events that any person will experience in his or her lifetime. It is more than the simple purchase of housing, for it includes the hopes, dreams, aspirations, and economic destiny of those involved.
Civil Rights Act of 1866: The Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibits all racial discrimination in the sale, transferring, or rental of property (i.e., residential and commercial properties).
Fair Housing Act: The Fair Housing Act declares a national policy of fair housing throughout the United States. The law makes illegal any 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: Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in places of public accommodations and commercial facilities.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act: The Equal Credit Opportunity Act makes discrimination unlawful with respect to any aspect of a credit application on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age or because all or part of the applicant's income derives from any public assistance program.
State and Local Laws: State and local laws often provide broader coverage and prohibit discrimination based on additional classes not covered by federal law.
The home seller, the home seeker, and the real estate professional all have rights and responsibilities under the law.
For the Home Seller: As a home seller, property owner, or landlord you have a responsibility and a requirement under the law not to discriminate in the sale, rental and financing of property on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. You cannot instruct the licensed broker or salesperson acting as your agent to convey for you any limitations in the sale or rental because the real estate professional is also bound by law not to discriminate.
Under the law, a home seller or landlord cannot establish discriminatory terms or conditions in the purchase or rental; deny that housing is available, or advertise that the property is available only to persons of a certain race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin.
For the Home Seeker: You have the right to expect that housing will be available to you without discrimination or other limitations based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin.
This includes the right to expect:
Housing in your price range made available to you without discrimination
Equal professional service
The opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices
No discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of housing
No discrimination in the financing, appraising, or insuring of housing
Reasonable accommodations in rules, practices and procedures for persons with disabilities
Non-discriminatory terms and conditions for the sale, rental, financing, or insuring of a dwelling
To be free from harassment or intimidation for exercising your fair housing rights.
For the Real Estate Professional: Agents in a real estate transaction are prohibited by law from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. A request from the home seller, property owner, or landlord to act in a discriminatory manner in the sale, lease or rental cannot legally be fulfilled by the real estate professional.
The REALTOR® Fair Housing Program
The National Association of REALTORS® has developed a Fair Housing Program to provide resources and guidance to REALTORS® in ensuring equal professional services for all people. The term REALTOR® identifies a licensed professional in real estate who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.
Not all licensed real estate brokers and salespersons are members of the National Association, and only those who are may identify themselves as REALTORS®. They conduct their business and activities in accordance with a strict Code of Ethics.
Equal Professional Services and the Code of Ethics: Article 10 of the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics provides that, "REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity."
A REALTOR® pledges to conduct business in keeping with the spirit and letter of the Code of Ethics. Article 10 imposes obligations upon REALTORS® and is also a firm statement of support for equal opportunity in housing and provision of equal professional services.
If You Suspect Discrimination
Call the Local Board of REALTORS®: Local Boards of REALTORS® will accept complaints alleging violations of the Code of Ethics filed by a home seeker (including other types of clients or customers) who alleges discriminatory treatment in the availability, purchase or rental of housing or property. Local Boards of REALTORS® have a responsibility to enforce the Code of Ethics through professional standards procedures and corrective action in cases where a violation of the Code of Ethics is proven to have occurred. We are members of the following local REALTOR® Boards or Associations:
Call the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Complaints alleging discrimination in housing may be filed with the nearest office of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or by contacting them at http://www.hud.gov.
If You Suspect Illegal Business Activity or Misconduct
Call the Sponsoring Brokerage Firm or Local State Government's Licensing Board: Complaints alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and other violations may be brought to the attention of the real estate agent's broker-sponsor or filed with the state's real estate occupational licensing authority. This authority governs licensed real estate agents who are REALTORS® or non-REALTORS®. And may be called the Real Estate Commission or Department of Real Estate, depending on the state.
Source: NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® AND INDEPENDENT RESEARCH