Your Words Can Land You a Lawsuit!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington 0788174

Fair Housing is a mandatory course in Continuing Education for Real Estate licensees for a reason. Its violation is one of the most common in our industry. If you are a licensee engaged in rentals, pay attention to this as it may save you a lawsuit in the future. 

 

A listing agent was showing a rental unit to a woman with service dog. The unit is located on the second floor of the building. First, she opened the door to the main building. Then they navigated through one flight of stairs to get to the unit.  When they landed on the second floor, the agent paused and said to the applicant, "You see, the only way to let your dog in and out to do his business is through that door." Then after pointing that out, she led the woman to the hallway towards the direction of the rental unit. 

 

The screening was across-the-board. Every applicant was subjected to credit report review and background check. The woman applicant with the service dog did not get the rental unit. The decision was based on her credit report. But why did the agent end up with a Fair Housing lawsuit?

 

By stressing to the applicant that the only way in and out for the service dog to do the business was the main door in the first floor while they were on the second floor after navigating the flight of stairs, her words were deemed discriminatory. The applicant filed a complaint against the agent. And the agent was held in violation of the Fair Housing Law.

 

This story narrated to us by our instructor in our recent Continuing Education class should remind us licensees to be extra careful with our words and actions to avoid any potential violation and lawsuit while conducting our business. The commission we earn in a transaction is not worth the trouble and indelible ugly mark in our name.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by

        Maria Gilda Racelis 

      "It is the ability to make a difference that differentiates me." 

         Serving Hartford, Tolland and Middlesex Counties

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Brian England 11/29/2019 09:00 AM
Topic:
Real Estate Best Practices

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Rainmaker
3,426,320
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Marie - words matter.  Understanding fair housing laws is just another piece of the puzzle to better know the many aspects of real estate.  

Nov 29, 2019 03:56 AM #1
Rainmaker
3,364,878
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Maria. Another example of our new thin skinned society looking to profit from the truth at the detriment to the person providing it. Those elected officials in Washington are a waste of money and prove it daily! And the thin skinned continue to elect them! Enjoy your day!

Nov 29, 2019 04:14 AM #2
Rainer
536,734
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH
CRS

Great message, it could just wipe you out!!!

Fair Housing is a mandatory course in Continuing Education for Real Estate licensees for a reason. Its violation is one of the most common in our industry. If you are a licensee engaged in rentals, pay attention to this as it may save you a lawsuit in the future. 

Nov 29, 2019 04:41 AM #3
Rainmaker
2,645,874
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I am so careful with my words, those classes are so scary and every time that I am in one, I cringe at the lawsuits that have been filed against people.

Nov 29, 2019 06:42 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,992,634
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Maria Gilda Racelis - that will do it.  The same thing is true with employment applications.

Nov 29, 2019 06:55 AM #5
Rainmaker
3,212,019
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Great warning, Maria. We just have to be so careful with what we say these days, it seems, not just professionally, but also personally.

Nov 29, 2019 07:40 AM #6
Rainmaker
4,572,915
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Maria,

I agree 100% with Wayne Martin 's analysis.  We often had some of the top attorneys visit with our team to keep them in the know.  Everyone is busy walking on eggshells these days. A

Nov 29, 2019 02:54 PM #7
Rainmaker
2,071,677
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Fort Worth, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

WOW!!!

Nov 30, 2019 10:35 AM #8
Rainmaker
3,301,919
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

That is certainly a caution to agents...commens on this site could also result in lawsuits when Bloggers get out of control with accusations.

Nov 30, 2019 11:57 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,992,634
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Maria Gilda Racelis - some people call me over cautious and that is because of my long running HR background.  I have seen plenty but tried to keep from commenting.

Dec 02, 2019 07:49 AM #10
Rainmaker
5,503,158
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing your experience.

Have an outstanding December.

Dec 03, 2019 06:38 AM #11
Rainmaker
4,160,435
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Maria, we always have testers around our area, so we have to be SOOO careful!  Great reminder!  

Dec 05, 2019 07:51 AM #12
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Rainmaker
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Maria Gilda Racelis

Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen!
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