April 10, 2022

What you should know about fair housing 

Over fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnsona fellow Texan—signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which among other things, prohibits discrimination in housing. The Fair Housing Act protects you and everyone else from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. This list is known as the seven protected classes.


How the Fair Housing Act benefits you

This act states that sellers and landlords can’t discriminate in the sale or rental of property based on someone’s race, color, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. They also can’t tell their real estate agents or property managers to limit property availability based on the same seven classes. They can’t establish terms or conditions in purchasing or rental that are discriminatory. They also can’t advertise that a property is available only to people of a certain race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.

If you think you’ve been the victim of a Fair Housing Act violation, report it to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at 800-669-9777 or


There are local laws, too

Local laws can expand upon the seven classes covered by federal law. For example, some cities prohibit discrimination based on factors such as veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, student status, and age.


REALTORS® pledge to do more

REALTORS® abide by the Code of Ethics, which outlines their duties to provide consumers with high-quality service and treat everyone fairly. The Code of Ethics mirrors the Fair Housing Act in that REALTORS® can’t deny equal professional services to anyone because of their race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. But, the Code of Ethics adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the list, which means REALTORS® pledge to go beyond what the law requires.


REALTORS® are proud to fulfill the promise of the Fair Housing Act and help everyone find property. If you would like to learn more about how a San Antonio area REALTOR® can help you visit today.