Granted, anyone worth there salt in this business knows better than to discriminate. But it is always nice to be given a head’s up about events in this industry. My only concern is how far will a private company go to try to get results and if the same private company doing the testing will be the same as doing the training? cheers cvc
Warning on Fair Housing Testers
REALTORS® should make sure they are properly trained to handle fair housing issues before engaging in any property management services. Both governmental fair housing agencies and private organizations may be actively seeking to uncover discriminatory acts in rental housing by using testers who pose as prospective tenants. These testers may use Craigslist and other sources to inquire about the availability of a property for rent, submit rental applications, or do other things to identify landlords and agents who violate fair housing laws. For example, the fair housing laws protect, among many others, tenants who use service dogs and those with children, as well as require landlords to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.
C.A.R. has received reports that a private company may also be using testers posing as prospective tenants to upsell its own services. The company purportedly uses testers to catch agents engaging in discriminatory acts, and then issues demand letters offering to settle if the agents sign up for the company’s own fair housing training courses. In at least one report, a brokerage paid a $25,000 settlement and was also required to sign up for three years of training at that company for which it had to pay $10,000 per year.
The best way to ensure that you do not run afoul of the law is to be knowledgeable about and strictly comply with federal and state fair housing laws, particularly those pertaining to service dogs and disability accommodations. Violations of such laws expose REALTORS® to potential liability, as well as DRE disciplinary action for license suspension or revocation.
From C.A.R. Realegal
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