Your Words Can Land You a Lawsuit!

Reblogger Brian England
Real Estate Agent with Arizona Focus Realty SA634540000

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.

Original content by Maria Gilda Racelis 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.









        Maria Gilda Racelis 

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

         Serving Hartford, Tolland and Middlesex Counties








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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Brian, for sharing this reblog selection.

Nov 29, 2019 09:41 AM #1
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

Your words can come back to haunt you.  Be careful what you say because you are liable for those words.

Nov 29, 2019 09:57 AM #2
Debbie Holmes
John L. Scott - Boise, ID
Gets the job done!

I have heard a lot worse.  It would not accrued to me that would have been lawsuit worthy.  I might have pointed out if there was an inconvenience for the service dog but the potential renter could have figured that out for herself. 


Actually I was talking to a lady with a service dog.  I mentioned that her potential roommate and owner liked dogs.  She reminded me it was a service dog.  I pointed out it was a good thing the potential roommate liked dogs.

Nov 29, 2019 10:11 AM #3
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Brian.

Thanks, will use this one at our next meeting/training session.  Have a great weekend

Nov 30, 2019 01:25 AM #4
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Brian, very good choice for a reblog, and we have to be so careful with our words.

Nov 30, 2019 08:00 AM #5
David Artigliere
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia - Collegeville, PA
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspect

Hi Brian, that's a really interesting example.  All of us real estate professionals need to check our words to people.

Nov 30, 2019 10:07 AM #6
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 11:56 PM #7
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

It doesn't depend on what is in her heart either - I could imagine asking - in sincere concern- if the location was a problem for the prospective tenant - and ending up in a pickle!

Dec 02, 2019 04:43 AM #8
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Brian England

MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ
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