Maria Gilda Racelis is right and when I am in classes and hearing these stories it is very frightening, we have to be so careful.
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.
Maria Gilda Racelis
"It is the ability to make a difference that differentiates me."
Serving Hartford, Tolland and Middlesex Counties