Violating the Federal Fair Housing Laws

Real Estate Agent with Florida Property Experts

buy house on ocean in Daytona Beach FL

We all know that we cannot violate the Fair Housing Laws. Anyone who tries, must be missing a few brain cells. And I ran across something just a few minutes ago that is prompting this post. 

I was on and ran across a question from a "Home Buyer" that said the following... 

I live in Illinois. Want to buy 2b/2bath condo in Miami Beach walking distance to Jewish area (sinagogue),

the same time want to be close to the ocean. Any places like that? I want to use this condo as a rental property for next 15-20 years and retire there later. Does this plan make any financial sence? How expensive condo insurance? How hard to rent condo with good location? (I copied and pasted the question, exactly as it is posted.) 
WHOA! Hello! Does anyone not see the problem here? And would you believe that 3 agents had already answered this question, and not one of them had mentioned the Federal Fair Housing Law?
Call me paranoid, but I smell a setup. And I do believe 3 agents are treading on dangerous territory. (Well, actually 2. The 3rd is just spam.) Granted, none of them even mentioned the first part of the question, but they didn't state the problem either. Here's the link to this real estate question on Trulia, but I'm pretty sure that Trulia will delete the question pretty quickly.  I just hope those agents read my answer before that happens. (Correction was made here. I accidentally had "the buyer reads" instead of "those agents read" on the previous line.)
If you need to brush up on the Federal Fair Housing Laws, follow the embedded link to the web site of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • BTW, has anyone noticed the lack of use of the thumbs up and down feature over the last few months? If anyone else here uses Trulia, remember to help support each other. Just pay if forward a little bit. 
Lisa Hill real estate agent
Lisa Hill with Adams Cameron Realtors



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Steve Hoffacker
Steve Hoffacker LLC - West Palm Beach, FL
Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor
Right you are. Good catch.
Feb 27, 2008 09:36 AM #1
Dee Nofziger
|Key Realty | Maumee Toledo Real Estate Blog - Toledo, OH
Maumee Real Estate, Toledo Homes, Key Realty

Hmmm, I may be wrong, but I don't think it's a violation for a BUYER to say they want a home near a synagogue. They aren't trampling on anyone's rights just because they want to walk to their place of worship.

However, a REALTOR or a SELLER can not advertise a home is near a synagogue because that would be excluding non-Jewish buyers. A REALTOR or a seller can't exlude a protected class (except for the limited exceptions).

If a buyer asks a REALTOR to look for homes near a synagogue, the REALTOR must ask that buyer specifically where those areas are.

Of course, I may be wrong, but I don't think so.

Feb 27, 2008 09:44 AM #2
Jeff Kessler
Austin Homes, Realtors - Austin, TX

I have to agree with Dee.  If the buyer is not an agent then I don't think it is either,  Now if the buyer is a Agent. WOWOOOOOO THat would be WRONG.  Keep me updated on this.


Feb 27, 2008 09:45 AM #3
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time
Lisa, While I may very well help these folks out by directing them to a site where they can search areas to narrow it down for me. I wouldn't touch this on a public a forum. I wouldn't want to defend it in a court of law and it definitely isn't worth losing my license over but personally, I don't see this request as a violation of fair housing.
Feb 27, 2008 09:54 AM #4
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
Bryant- I was wondering who would catch that ;)  I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to direct them. I even changed it several times. I may do so again.
Feb 27, 2008 10:09 AM #5
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
Dee & Jeff- My mistake; now corrected. I was debating addressing the buyer again, and inadvertently left the buyer on that line. It was intended to address the agents. Thanks!
Feb 27, 2008 10:22 AM #6
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas
Interesting post, I love reading different perspectives on Fair Housing.
Mar 13, 2008 03:01 AM #7
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
Greg- I'm always erring on the side of caution. I want to do all I can to help, without the risk of losing my license!
Mar 13, 2008 08:33 AM #8
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