Recent amendment of the Federal Fair Housing Act suggests that we caution
advertisers against real estate advertising and consider the feelings
of others that may be interpreted as discriminatory. The Fair Housing
Act makes it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation, or otherwise
encourage discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national
origin, handicap, or familial status. Also, local laws forbidding discrimination
in real estate ads not only repeat the federal categories but add prohibitions
against discrimination based on age, parental status, sexual orientation,
political ideology, or a renter's qualification for rent subsidy support.
To avoid both civil and criminal liability, obvious words should be avoided
that connote any of the forbidden categories. Other words not so obvious
have been interpreted liberally by the courts to violate the categories.
The Real Estate Hotline, BossHotRods.com, WebPezzaz and Earth Metals and
Junk Company Inc. make a substantial good faith effort to help a advertiser's
reduce their risk of liability. For example, the following terms may,
in the context of an ad, be considered in violation of federal, state
or local laws and , if so, would be unacceptable in real estate advertising
in any publication. Thank your for your courteous consideration of content
with our Media and all other Media.
Adult, Bachelor, Couple, Mature, No Children, One Person, Retired, Sex
(may be OK in advertising for roommates), Single, Two People, Christian,
Executive (such as "large executive home''), Exclusive, Handicap
("not suitable for''), Integrated, Membership Approval, Mentally
Ill, Religious, Religious Landmark (near St. Mark's), Older Persons, Senior
Citizens, Physically Fit Person (ideal for), Private ("private community''
- no; private drive - OK), Race, Restricted, Senior Discount.
This list is by no means complete. If you have any questions about our
policy on this matter, please contact us at (206) 969-0105. Housing for
the elderly may be exempt from the Fair Housing Act, if specific criteria
have been met. A letter from the advertiser stating that the requirements
of the Federal Fair Housing Act have been met in one of the following
ways must be on file prior to publication.
The dwelling or housing community must either (1) be designed and operated
to assist elderly persons under a state or federal program, (2) be occupied
solely by persons 62 years of age or older, or (3) have at least 80 percent
of its occupied units occupied by at least one person 55 years of age
or older per unit AND have significant facilities and services designed
to meet the physical and social needs of older persons.
Retirement communities would qualify as housing for older persons exempt
from the Fair Housing Act.