House Buying Companies and the Fair Housing Act

In 1968, the Fair Housing Act was passed into law with a mandate to guarantee everyone an equal chance when searching for housing. Its aim is to shield people from discrimination. Every state has its own Fair Housing laws, yet these can often not provide enough protection for consumers. The federal government enforces the Fair Housing Act, so companies who wish to do business with U.S. citizens in any capacity must abide by the law. Many construction and real estate businesses worldwide, even those not headquartered in the United States but possess considerable resources there, have come under scrutiny for not conducting their business ethically. As a result, many organizations across different continents have been forced to defend their practices. If you’re ready to sell your house for cash, click here:

Companies found guilty of discrimination can face steep fines from federal government agencies or even imprisonment. Case in point: Thomas v. City of Richland County in Alabama, where a home builder was found guilty of failing to disclose information about their property which would lead a reasonable person to ask for segregated housing. The victims were two families – one black and one white – who asked for such housing in that area. According to the court ruling, if someone asks for such segregated housing there, then this information should have been disclosed beforehand.

Recently, many real estate companies have challenged the Fair Housing Act. They contend it is outdated and should be repealed; additionally, they assert that its failure to reduce discrimination over time has rendered it ineffective.

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Court records show that in 1993 a developer was charged with discrimination for offering loan programs and segregated housing. The federal government claimed he violated the Fair Housing Act by not disclosing this information to his customers. The developer claimed there were no African-American neighborhoods or communities nearby and his customers wanted single-family homes which weren’t available within their community.

In 2009, a Hispanic family filed suit against a real estate company for violating the Fair Housing Act by failing to disclose information about the neighborhood. When they tried to buy a house there, however, their offer was rejected; later it emerged that another buyer would have purchased the property had they not been Hispanic.

The Fair Housing Act safeguards buyers against discrimination both from a seller’s real estate agent and from sellers themselves. It is illegal for a real estate agent to advertise a property that does not conform with applicable laws, including racial discrimination. Likewise, sellers are protected against discrimination or retaliation if they choose not to discriminate against buyers or inform the selling real estate agency in writing of their decision.

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