Acceptable and Unacceptable Terms in Real Estate
There has always been some confusions, on the rules and requirements, about
the real estate advertisements, specifically those terms and actions that
violate the Federal Housing Act.
I just heard in a class, if you add a
Se Habla Espanol rider to one of your listings which
is in a predominately Latin community, is illegal. When I said
it doesn’t make sense and asked the instructor why? She told me
contact the TAR legal hotline, which I did.
If the real estate agent speaks different
language (i.e., for example Spanish) and want to increase
his/her business, what is wrong with adding another rider to
show he can speak that language (e.g., Spanish) too!.
Why it is illegal?
What can they do to make it legal?
The TAR (Texas Association of REALTORS) hotline attorney response was (which
I believed from beginning should be like that): 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
limiting other groups, you are
INCLUDING more groups of people.
Before you write your next rental or for sale ad, make sure
that you are familiar with fair-housing laws.
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 in September 2013, “Fair Housing
Issues,” covers some acceptable and unacceptable terms.
Acceptable terms include:
- No drug
- No smokers
limited to assistance animals
- Se habla
espanol or any other languages
Unacceptable terms include:
- No kids