Discriminatory Advertising, Statements and Notices

Not only is it illegal to discriminate in the sale and rental of housing, it is illegal to make, print or publish any notice, statement or advertisement about the sale or rental of a place to live which indicate ANY preference, limitation or discrimination based on protected class status. The prohibitions apply to all written or oral notices or statements by any person who sells or rents the residence. Written notices and statements include any document that is used in the sale or rental of a dwelling, such as applications, deeds, brochures, signs and posters.

Discriminatory advertising, statements and notices include the following:

  • Using words, phrases, photographs, illustrations, symbols or forms which convey that dwellings are available or not available to persons belonging to particular protected class groups.
  • Expressing to agents, brokers, employees, prospective sellers or renters or any other persons a preference for or limitation on any purchaser or renter because of their protected class status.
  • Selecting media or locations for advertising the sale or rental of dwellings which deny members of certain protected class groups looking for housing, information about housing opportunities.

The laws against discriminatory advertising, statements and notices apply to publishers of newspapers who accept advertisements for the sale or rental of property. Publishers should be careful to review all advertisements for the sale or rental of property before accepting the advertisement.

State law exempts two family owner occupied dwellings from these provisions that apply to discriminatory advertising. However, federal law does not contain any such exemptions.