Home Sellers, Landlords and Real Estate Agents should be aware of the Federal Fair Housing Act and what is covered in the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Code of Ethics.
The Fair Housing Act has been around for some time. It was passed in 1968 and for the protection of the following classes:
Race-Color-National Origin-Religion-Sex-Familial Status-Disability.
What this means for home sellers, landlords and real estate agents is they may not refuse housing to people based on any of those 7 classes.
A real estate agent may not be part of a transaction that discriminates based on the 7 protected classes.
In Florida recently, the Legislature took up discussion of a law that would add 2 classes to the list: sexual orientation and gender identity. They were not successful in passing this bill.
BUT,did you know that the NAR Code of Ethics exceeds even the Federal guidelines?
In 2011, the NAR added Sexual Orientation as a protected class in their Code Of Ethics.
In 2013, the NAR added Gender Identity as a protected class in their Code of Ethics.
If a real estate agent in a member of NAR (1,150,141 members to date) they are designated as REALTORS® and are to conduct business in accordance with the Code of Ethics.
This means that if a home seller or landlord wants the services of a REALTOR® but has decided to withhold the property from any of the 9 protected class as stated by NAR, the agent must walk away from that transaction.
Knowing the difference between protected classes in the Federal Fair Housing Act and the NAR Code of Ethics is extremely important for REALTORS® to know and follow.