The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® joins the nation in observing Fair Housing Month in April. This year marks the 44th anniversary of the 1968 landmark Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap.

“REALTORS® play a vital role in ensuring fair housing for all and strive every day to make home ownership accessible to everyone,” said Suzanne Yost, president of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®.

“REALTORS® are on the ‘front lines,’ working with buyers and sellers to see that they enjoy the benefits of a housing market free from discrimination.”

Members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® abide by a Code of Ethics that provides under Article 10 that REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin and shall not be a party to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

The home seller, the prospective home buyer, and the real estate professional all have rights and responsibilities under the law. Home sellers and landlords have a responsibility and a requirement under the law not to discriminate in the sale, rental and financing of property on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. They cannot instruct the licensed broker or salesperson acting as their agent to convey any limitations in the sale or rental because the real estate professional is also bound by law not to discriminate.

Buyers and renters have the right to expect that housing will be available without discrimination. This includes the right to expect:
• housing in their price range made available without discrimination
• equal professional service
• the opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices
• no discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of housing
• no discrimination in the financing, appraising, or insuring of housing
• reasonable accommodations in rules, practices and procedures for persons with disabilities
• non-discriminatory terms and conditions for the sale, rental, financing, or insuring of a dwelling
• freedom from harassment or intimidation for exercising their fair housing rights.

If you feel you have experienced discrimination in the rental, sale, financing or insuring of a property, you may file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Complaints must be filed within one year of the alleged discrimination. Visit http://www.dfeh.ca.gov for more information.

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