Yes, it’s true. The 1968 Federal Fair Housing Act applies to all Raleigh homes including those that are being offered as For Sale by Owner. What does that mean?
Those endeavoring to sell or rent their home must not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or familial status in the sale or lease of residential property; these groups are protected classes. The Fair Housing Act further prohibits discrimination in: advertising, real estate brokerage, lending, against individuals associated with individuals in protected classes, and against U.S. citizens and non-citizens.
There are some exemptions for those selling their home without the assistance of a real estate agent under the 1968 Federal Fair Housing Act but under the State of North Carolina Fair Housing Act there are only a fewer exceptions.
The one exemption specific to a Raleigh home for sale by owner is in regards to “the rental of housing accommodation in a building which contains housing accommodations for not more than four families living independently of each other, if the lessor [the home owner] or a member of his family resides in one of the housing accommodations.”
One question that comes up a lot is what is “Familial status”? Simply it is anyone single, married, divorced, legal guardians, etc. who has one or more persons who have not attained the age of 18 years living with them. This includes any person having legal custody, the designee of the parent or other person having custody, provided the designee has the written permission of the parent or other person. This means that “Family” includes a single individual.
What are the penalties for breaking the NC Fair Housing law? The first offence brings a fine up to $10,000 and subsequent offences can bring fines up to $50,000. However, there is greater potential liability if a civil suit is brought for punitive damages. So, learn and obey the law. You can obtain a copy here: State of North Carolina Fair Housing Act
As always, feel free to contact the Marti Hampton Team with any questions.