Middlesex, Union & Mercer Counties, NJ and Surrounding Areas

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What Everyone Should Know About Equal Opportunity in Housing

The sale and purchase of a home is one of the most significant events that any person will experience in their lifetime. It is more than the simple purchase of housing, for it includes the hopes, dreams, aspirations, and economic destiny of those involved.

The Law

Civil Rights Act of 1866

The Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibits all racial discrimination in the sale or rental of property.

Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act declares a national policy of fair housing throughout the United States. The law makes illegal any discrimination in the sale, lease or rental of housing, or making housing, otherwise unavailable, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.


The Responsibilities

The home seller, the home seeker, and the real estate professional all have rights and responsibilities under the law.

For the Home Seeker

You have the right to expect that housing will be available to you without discrimination or other limitations based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

This includes the right to expect:

  • Housing in your price range made available to you without discrimination
  • Equal professional service
  • The opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices
  • No discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of housing

For the Real Estate Professional

As a home seller or home seeker, you should know that the term REALTOR® identifies a licensed professional in real estate who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. Not all licensed real estate brokers and salespersons are members of the National Association, and only those who are can identify themselves as REALTORS®. They conduct their business and activities in accordance with a strict Code of Ethics. As agents in a real estate transaction, licensed brokers or salespersons are prohibited by law from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familiar status, or national origin. A request from the home seller or landlord to act in a discriminatory manner in the sale, lease or rental cannot legally be fulfilled by the real estate professional.

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