The Fair Housing Act, as amended, says it is illegal “to make, print or publish, or cause to be made, printed or published any notice, statement, or advertisement with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention to make such preference, limitation, or discrimination.” This prohibition applies to publishers, such as newspapers and directories, as well as to persons and entities who place real estate advertisements. It even applies to advertisements where the underlying property may be exempt from the provisions of the Act, but where the advertisement itself violates the Act.
All advertising of residential real estate for sale, rent or financing should contain an equal housing opportunity logotype, statement, or slogan as a means of educating the home-seeking public that the property is available to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. The choice of logotype, statement, or slogan will depend on the type of media used (visual or auditory) and, in space advertising, on the size of the ad.
- Employees: All publishers of advertisements, advertising agencies, and firms engaged in the sale, rental or financing of real estate should provide a printed copy of their nondiscrimination policy to each employee and officer
- Clients: All publishers of advertisements and advertising agencies should post a copy of their nondiscrimination policy in a conspicuous location wherever people place advertising and should have copies available for all firms and persons using their advertising services.
- Publisher’s Notice: All publishers should publish at the beginning of the real estate advertising section a notice that “all of the real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act which makes it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised are available on an equal opportunity basis.”