Fair housing & lending laws

Real Estate is a heavily regulated industry with laws in place to protect consumers from discrimination and unethical practices. The primary responsibility of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to enforce these fair housing laws. The Arkansas Fair Housing Commission (AFHC) works in conjunction with HUD to enforce federal and state fair housing and lending laws in Arkansas. https://fairhousing.arkansas.gov/

Civil Rights Act of 1866prohibits all racial discrimination in any real estate transaction.

Fair Housing Act 1968 – prohibits discrimination in the sale and rental of housing based on color, race, religion, gender, sex, handicap, familial status, and national origin.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – prohibits discrimination of persons with disabilities and places regulations on the accessibility of buildings open to the public.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act – prohibits discrimination for credit application based on race, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, or age because all or part of an applicant’s income comes from public assistance programs.

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) – requires lenders and other home loan providers to disclose all the costs connected to the settlement process to the borrowers (homebuyers).

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?

All participants in a real estate transaction have rights and responsibilities under these laws.

Buyers – you can expect that your home search will not be limited as a result of any discriminations listed in the law.

Sellersyou cannot discriminate when selling, renting or financing your home. You cannot instruct your real estate agent to limit the sale of your property in ways that don’t comply with fair housing laws, nor place discriminatory conditions on the sale or rental of your property to any protected class.

Real Estate Agents –you cannot refuse to provide professional services to a client based on discriminations listed in the law and cannot follow instructions given to you by a client that do not comply with fair housing laws.  

Regulatory bodies

Northwest Arkansas Board of REALTORS (NABOR)- 479-770-0241, http://www.nwarealtors.org

Arkansas Real Estate Commission (AREC) – “The mission of the AREC is to protect the public interest, through the examination, licensing, and regulation of real estate brokers and salespersons, and through administration of the Arkansas Time-Share Law. https://www.arec.arkansas.gov

File a complaint

If you suspect discrimination you have one year after an alleged violation to file a complaint with HUD. You can learn about the investigation process here: 

https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/complaint-process

or file a complaint here:

https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaint

If you suspect a violation of the REALTOR Code of Ethics by your REALTOR contact the Northwest Arkansas Board of REALTORS:

https://www.nwarealtors.org/