Acceptable and Unacceptable Terms in Real Estate Advertisement

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Texas Five Star Realty, Plano Texas

Acceptable and Unacceptable Terms in Real Estate Advertisement


Texas Five STar Realty Sign with Farsi


Recently, a blog by Greg Nino, indicating that adding a rider to say “Se Habla Espanol” in the listing sing in a predominate Latin neighborhood is illegal or NOT and Why. However, he did not provide the official answers from TREC and their reasoning. This created a lot of interests and many still awaiting for official answer. I provided my answer (see Comment#17 in that blog) and reasoning in that blog, which was correct, however the answer by Greg still is not published.


My answer and the correct answer was and is: This is not illegal or against the law (Fair Housing Act) if you add additional rider to say “Se Habla Espanol” or as a matter of fact in any other languages. It is not illegal and against the law to advertise in a non-English speaking language newspaper, magazine, radio and TV stations. The reason is that you are NOT EXCLUDING or limiting other groups, you are INCLUDING more groups of people.


So, I decided to publish the correct answer, after confirming with TAR (Texas Association of REALTORS) Hotline Attorney, and also expand the list to show some acceptable and unacceptable terms in our real estate advertisements and signs.


Before you write your next rental or for sale ad, make sure that you are familiar with fair-housing laws.


The Fair Housing Act: The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale and rental of housing based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, familial status, or disability. It also makes it illegal to advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on those attributes.


So what can you say in your advertising to comply with the law? A recent property management webinar, “Fair Housing Issues,” covers some acceptable and unacceptable terms.


Acceptable terms include:


  • No drug users
  • Public transportation nearby
  • Kids welcome
  • Quiet neighborhood
  • References required
  • No smokers
  • Gated community
  • Pets limited to assistance animals
  • Se habla espanol or any other languages


Unacceptable terms include:


  • Near church
  • No kids
  • No handicap parking
  • Senior discount
  • Single person
  • Able-bodied
  • Nationality




Bahman Davani from Texas Five Star Realty Serving City of Plano Texas With the pride of living over 33 years in Plano, I am proud to serve as your Professional Real Estate Consultant and guide you through the selling, buying and leasing process, help you locate a suitable site for your business, provide neighborhood demographics and schools information, and more information.

Mobile: 214-457-7055
Fax: 972-596-7984




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Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Bahman, I was anxiously awaiting Greg's answer but since he didn't I clicked over here. I'm happy to see that smokers are not a protected class.

Oct 19, 2013 06:47 AM #1
Bahman Davani, CM at Texas Five Star Realty, Plano, TX (214) 457-7055
Texas Five Star Realty, Plano Texas - Frisco, TX
Homes for Sale in Plano, Frisco, Prosper, Allen TX

Tammie, I am glad that not only you got your answer, but you got the answer that you liked. Have a great weekend. 

Oct 19, 2013 09:46 AM #2
Elizabeth Bouchard
Long & Foster Realtors - Arlington, VA
Associate Broker in Northern Virginia

I had drafted an ad a while ago that referenced a secluded enclave of homes - only to find out that "enclave" was an inappropriate word as it had frequently been used to reference an area for a specific ethnic group. 

Oct 20, 2013 07:34 AM #3
Dianne Goode
Raleigh Cary Realty - Raleigh, NC

Thank you for the clarification.  Greg had us all wondering!

Oct 21, 2013 10:58 AM #4
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Thanks for completing what Greg started but did not finish!   Much appreciated.

Oct 26, 2013 10:40 AM #5
These laws are stupid

Wow, political correctness sure has completely taken over our country.

Aug 08, 2015 12:21 AM #6
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Bahman Davani, CM at Texas Five Star Realty, Plano, TX (214) 457-7055

Homes for Sale in Plano, Frisco, Prosper, Allen TX
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