Unfortunately, many immigrants and minority populations experience discrimination when it comes to real estate. Discrimination can be overt or covert, but despite efforts to cover discriminatory practices, one usually can perceive when they are being discriminated against.
Thankfully, both New York state and federal laws make discrimination regarding real estate illegal. It is important to be familiar with state and federal laws to make sure that citizens’ rights are protected.
Federal anti-discrimination laws
According to the New York State Association of Realtors, two main statutes deal with discrimination in housing:
- Civil Rights Act of 1866: This federal act is limited to racial discrimination in connection to real estate transactions.
- The Fair Housing Act of 1968: This act was amended in 1983 and makes it illegal for anyone to discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or handicaps when negotiating the buying or renting of property.
The above cover a wide range of discrimination that one could suffer when dealing with real estate.
State anti-discrimination laws
In addition to federal protection from discrimination in real estate, New York State also has rights and protection in place. Let’s take a brief look at New York state anti-discrimination laws:
- New York’s Human Rights Law: New York executive law §296 protects people from being discriminated against when buying, selling, renting or leasing property.
- Civil Rights Law: Article 2-A, §§18-19 makes it illegal for discrimination to exist in the real estate arena.
- Real Property Law: Real estate laws under §227-d also protect against discrimination in real estate transactions. This includes victims of domestic violence.
- Public Housing Law: Under Article XI §223, also protects against discrimination in regards to public housing.
State laws reinforce federal laws to provide a comprehensive approach to the various types of discrimination that one could experience regarding real estate.
If you feel that discrimination is present in a recent real estate deal, to ensure that your rights are protected it can be beneficial to have professional guidance that is experienced in New York state laws and U.S. federal laws that deal with discrimination in real estate practices.