Discrimination Laws for Real Estate Investors

The American Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibited discrimination in the rental or sale of Real Estate based on race. This act was enacted in the aftermath of the American Civil War and was intended to provide protection to the recently freed slaves. Despite its good intentions, enforcement was difficult and sporadic at first. However, the precedent had been established in the United States that discrimination was not going to be tolerated in the Real Estate business.

The Civil Rights Act of 1968 and the Fair Housing Amendment Act of 1988 broaden the scope of the discrimination laws beyond just race. Now, color, religion, and National origin were included. The 1988 Amendment further added age, sex, and handicapped status to the mix.

It was the Fair Housing section of the 1968 act and the Fair Housing Amendment of 1988 that made the idea of Fair Housing a National concept that prevented and outlawed discrimination of any kind in the rental, purchase, or sale of Real Estate. The scope of the Fair Housing Laws included any type of discrimination. This included age, sex, religion, race, National origin, family status, or disability. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act extended the anti-discrimination laws to the area of loans and credit applications.

The discrimination laws for Real Estate apply to investors exactly as they apply to anyone else or any other situation. Investors are involved in both the buying and the selling of Real Estate. This means that the laws not only prevent them from discriminating against others, but they also protect them from being discriminated against. Unlike the early days of Civil Rights, the laws can be and are easily and often enforced.

It is important to leave behind any prejudice when you enter into the Real Estate Market. It does not matter if you are doing so as a buyer, seller, or investor. Perhaps, it is the investor that must be even more careful to avoid discrimination of any kind in his Real Estate dealings. This is more than an ethical or legal matter. It simply is not good business to risk the problems that result from discriminatory practices. The only discrimination that makes any sense to an investor is between those who can help them make money and those that can not.