Buyer’s Beware: Redlining, Racial Steering and the Fair Housing Act January 31, 2013 – Posted in: Real Estate – Tags: buying a home, Fair Housing Act, Racial Steering, real estate agent, real estate laws, real estate market, Real Estate Maryland, Redlining
As a home buyer, you need to read about certain real estate laws that will help define your rights. Knowledge about real estate investments and especially your rights will help you understand what you are entitled to when it comes to home and neighborhood choices. Not only that, it will help you identify how you should be treated by any professional.
The United States, despite its evident lead in the economic world, used to be a land filled with racial discrimination. As embarrassing as that may be, some people still hold the same thoughts even up to now. But with the American Dream being one of its main attraction, the government made sure that there are laws in place to keep discrimination from happening.
Even the real estate industry is not exempt from these discriminating acts. So if you want to know your rights, especially if you are from a minority group, here are the three real estate laws that will help maximize your chances of getting your dream home.
The Fair Housing Act or the Civil Rights Act of 1968 specifically states that equal housing opportunities is the right of every person. That is regardless of national origin, race or personal background. This act was signed by then President Lyndon Johnson as riots filled the streets after the assassination of Martin Luther King. This particular act only supported the Civil Right Act of 1964 that was already in place and implemented by the Federal government.
Simply put, no one is to be discriminated and kept from buying, renting or getting financial aid because of their racial origin or religious beliefs. In 1974, even gender was added to that list. Anyone who feels that this particular right had been violated can file civil suits or seek federal solutions against instigators.
There are also real estate laws that prohibits professionals from declining to represent customers based on their personal background. This is also true for those who charge more based on the same criteria. This particular practice is known as redlining. While there is no direct law to address this, it is a part of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975. Real estate laws like this one and the Fair Housing Act can help authorities identify institutions that discriminate minorities. This is done by observing any lack of transaction with commonly discriminated groups. Redlining is most evident when getting financial aid like mortgage loans and insurance.
The last of the real estate laws that we will discuss tackles racial steering. This is a practice that is more specific to real estate agents. It involves shielding or steering clients away from neighborhoods because of their personal and racial background – regardless if these communities are specifically what the client requires. This form of discrimination is not encouraged in the real estate industry. Like redlining, there is no specific law that discusses this but it is covered in the Civil Rights Act of 1866.
If you wish to know more about the real estate laws that will protect your best interests, get in touch with the Guldi Group. You deserve nothing but the best treatment and service in the industry.
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