On June 20th, a new Fair Housing law went into effect in New York State, requiring real estate agents to provide consumers a Housing and Anti-Discrimination Disclosure Form at their first substantive contact. The disclosure form, which is to be signed by buyers and sellers, and tenants and landlords, describes actions that would violate Fair Housing laws, and how consumers can file a complaint if they feel they have been a victim of discrimination in housing.
The law also requires real estate brokerages to display in their offices a Fair Housing Notice in a conspicuous location that is visible to the public, and have the Notice on their websites in an “above the fold,” readily apparent location. Further, this Notice must be displayed at all Public Open Houses.
The real estate industry has long championed Fair Housing for all, and is held to the highest standards in the protection of members of the federal, state, and local protected classes. This new law creates greater transparency for the consumer, so they can better understand what discriminatory behavior is, and how to protect their rights.
Under New York State law, protected classes include race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, sex, age, disability, marital status, familial status, and lawful source of income.
So, though you will have yet another form to sign when you engage the services of a real estate licensee, please remember it is a consumer protection act, and your agent is required by law to give it to you.
If you have any questions about the new Fair Housing law, or anything real estate related, contact Leah Caro, President of Park Sterling Realty at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-282-2386.