Fair Housing Act and Impact on Home Buying, Part 2

Posted by Help Now on Tuesday, April 14th, 2020 at 7:34am.

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics of the Fair Housing Act and how it impacts those searching for a new home. This act, which dictates that no discriminatory practices be carried out by anyone involved in the process of a home search or related areas, has been a foundational element of the homebuying world since it was passed in 1968.

At Daybreak Living, we’re proud to offer a wide range of homes for sale to a diverse range of buyers, with absolutely no discriminatory practices of any kind involved in our programs. In today’s part two of our series, we’ll go over some important information on how the Fair Housing Act may impact your home search, plus what to do if you believe your rights have been violated under this act.


Three-Part Fair Housing Goals

The Fair Housing Act takes a three-pronged approach to eliminating even a trace of discrimination against protected classes, which we went over in part one. These three sections, and the behaviors they are meant to protect against, are as follows:

  • Home renting and selling: Any refusal to rent or sell, intentional denial of housing, establishing different terms or conditions for certain individuals, providing different accommodations or amenities, or lying about the availability of housing is prohibited.
  • Mortgage lending: Refusal to make or purchase a mortgage loan, setting different terms or conditions, refusing to make loan information available or using discriminatory practices during property appraising are all prohibited.
  • Other illegal activities, such as advertising the property or making discriminatory statements indicating a preference for a person with a certain background, are prohibited. This includes those otherwise exempt from this act, such as owner-occupied four-unit homes.

How it Impacts Home Searches

Practically, the Fair Housing Act means that buyer’s reps have certain limitations in the questions they’re allowed to answer for their clients. In particular, they cannot answer any questions regarding the people who live in a given neighborhood or home, and cannot answer direct questions about neighborhood safety. The only thing they can do in these areas is suggest helpful resources that allow clients to do their own research.

In addition, it’s against the law for agents to engage in any discriminatory content toward the protected classes listed above.

Buyer in Control

This means that you, as a buyer, are generally in control of this process. Your buyer’s rep should show you any home in the neighborhood that you want to see and fits your needs, and your agent should never make assumptions about where you want to live. Any neighborhood or home you want to rule out based on any personal preference, on the other hand, is completely up to you.

Filing a Complaint

If you believe your rights have been violated at any point during this process, be sure to keep detailed records of any suspected violations. From here, research how to file a complaint and whether you might require legal representation to do so.

For more on the Fair Housing Act and how it may impact your home search, speak to the staff Daybreak Living today.

About the Author:

Utah Dave - Neighborhood ExpertUtah Dave - Daybreak Neighboorhood Expert and Local Resident

My friends nicknamed me Utah Dave in high school because they said it didn't matter where we went in Utah, I would know how to get there and who we needed to talk to. The name sticks today as UtahDave has formed into a professional real estate network of Neighborhood Experts all across the state. I live in Daybreak with my wife and 4 amazing children. I enjoy dancing (which is how I met my wife Dawn) as well as traveling, coaching, and learning.

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