1. Basic Concepts
    1. Protected Class - Includes: membership in class; perceived membership: association with class members
    2. Complainant
      1. Individual (e.g., homeseekers, real estate agents, etc.)
      2. Group of individuals, including minors
      3. Testers
      4. Organizations
    3. Respondent
      1. Property owners
      2. Real estate agents and agencies
      3. Management companies, etc.
    4. Testing
      1. Technique of matching
      2. Legitimate (not entrapment), Havens v. Coleman U.S. Supreme Ct. decision
    5. Familial Status/Children
      1. Having Children, pregnancy, adoption
  2. Federal Civil Rights Act of 1866
    1. Protected Class - Race
    2. Prohibited Practices
      1. All discriminatory practices prohibited
    3. Covered Housing
      1. All housing covered; no exemptions
    4. Enforcement
      1. File civil action in appropriate court
      2. Unlimited damages
  3. Federal Fair Housing - 1968 (Title VIII)
    1. Protected Classes - Sex, race, color, religion, national origin, handicap (mental and physical), familial status
    2. Prohibited Practices
      1. Refusal to sell or rent or otherwise deny
      2. Discrimination in terms of sale or rental
      3. Discrimination in advertising
      4. False denial of availability
      5. "Blockbusting"
      6. Different terms for loans - incl. "redlining"
      7. Varying access to brokers' organizations
      8. "Steering"
      9. Appraisal report with value impact on any of above
      10. Making notations indicating discriminatory preferences
      11. Coercion, intimidation, interference with any person in excise of rights
    3. Relative to handicap:
      1. Refusal to make reasonable accommodation in policies
      2. Refusal to permit reasonable modifications of existing premises at handicapped person's expense
      3. Failure to design and construct new covered multifamily dwellings, intended for first occupancy after 3/13/91, so as to be handicapped-accessible
    4. Property Covered
      1. Residential property (not commercial)
      2. Any type of residential property if handled by real estate broker (depending on type of property, liability may be only for broker)
      3. Discriminatory advertising
      4. Any written notice or statement indicating discriminatory preference
    5. Single-Family
      1. Privately owned with broker
      2. Privately owned with discriminatory advertising
      3. Privately owned with more than one house sold in 2 yrs.
      4. Privately owned with more than three houses owned (dealer) - Not privately owned (corporate)
    6. Multi-Family
      1. Any five or more unit building
      2. Two to four units, non-owner occupied
      3. Two to four units, owner-occupied (liability for broker only, not owner)
    7. Covered multifamily dwellings (for design/construction standards - handicap discrimination)
      1. Buildings of four or more units if one or more elevators
      2. Ground floor units in other buildings of four or more units
    8. Housing Not Covered
      1. Sale or rental of single family by private individual with three or less properties
        • Without a broker
        • Without discriminatory advertising
        • With no more than one house sold in two years
      2. Rental of owner-occupied two to four family (Not covered for owner, covered for broker)
      3. Sale/rental of property owned by religious organization
      4. Private club
      5. Housing for older persons - familial status only
    9. Enforcement of the 1968 Fair Housing Act
      1. File complaint with HUD
      2. File civil action in U.S. District Court
      3. Administrative process (Administrative Law Judge or Civil Action)
      4. Remedies: civil penalties, damages (actual and/or punitive), injunctive relief
  4. Massachusetts General Laws - Chapter 151B
    1. Category #1
      1. Protected Classes - race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry,, sex, age, marital status, veteran history/military status, sexual orientation
      2. Prohibited Practices
        • Same as Title VIII
    2. Covered property
      • Most residential property
      • Commercial space(only on basis of: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, ancestry, handicap, marital status)
    3. Major Exemptions (Exemptions apply only to property owners, for real estate agents these exemptions do not apply. Also in the area of discriminatory advertising, these exemptions do not apply in the case of certain protected categories those also protected under Title VIII.)
      • Lease of owner-occupied two-family
      • Elderly-state/federal funded - age only
      • Elderly retirement, 10 acres, 55 yrs - age only
    4. Category # 2
      1. Protected Class Public assistance or rental assistance recipiency
      2. Prohibited Practices
        • To discriminate in furnishing credit services or rental accommodations; also, to discriminate because of any requirement of such public assistance, rental assistance, or housing subsidy program. (For rental subsidy recipients, discrimination may include the following: Refusal to sign program lease, refusal to make modifications in unit to satisfy state sanitary code, requirement for security deposit in excess of program allowances.)
        • Discriminatory advertising.
      3. Exemptions - None; all property covered
    5. Category #3
      1. Protected Class - Children
      2. Prohibited Practices
        1. Refusal to rent, sell or otherwise deny. Includes refusals based on lead paint and other safety concerns
        2. Discrimination in terms/conditions
        3. Discriminatory advertising
      3. Major Exemptions (Exemptions apply only to property owners, for real estate agents these exemptions do not apply. Also in the area of discriminatory advertising, these exemptions do not apply.)
        1. Three family or less with elderly (65 yrs or older) or infirm occupant for whom presence of children would be a hardship
        2. Owner/occupant temporary lease
        3. Lease of owner-occupied two-family
    6. Enforcement/Remedies
      1. MCAD
      2. Civil action
      3. Injunctive relief, damages, affirmative relief, civil penalties, attorneys' fees for prevailing complainants
      4. Broker/salesman licensing enforcement
  5. Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 93
    1. Protected Classes - Race, color, creed, national origin, sex
    2. Prohibited Practices - All discriminatory practices prohibited
    3. Covered Housing - All housing may be covered (law unclear)
      1. Enforcement
      2. Civil action
      3. Punitive damages, compensatory damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys' fees (for successful plaintiffs)
  6. Practical Applications and Trends
    1. Examples of cases
    2. Handling Problem Situations
      1. Broker's liability for actions of salesmen
      2. Agent's liability if working in office with discriminatory listings
      3. Handling racial violence/intimidation
      4. Responding to information that client may have discriminatory preferences

Additional Consumer Protection Issues

  1. Consumer Protection Law - M.G.L. c. 93A
  2. Lead Paint Law - M.G.L. c.111 (S. 190-199)
  3. Urea Formaldehyde Law (U.F.F.I.) - M.G.L. c.255 s. 21 Brokers Liability c.112 s. 87 AAA 1/2
  4. Smoke Detectors - M.G.L. c.148 s.26F
  5. Hazardous Waste
    1. Disclosure and Removal M.G.L. c.21E
    2. Underground Storage Tank 527 C.M.R. 9.00
  6. Asbestos - M.G.L. c.149 s.6A
    1. Misc. State and Local Board of Health Regulations
  7. Radon - Disclosure Obligation
  8. Chlordane - Disclosure Obligation
  9. Agency Disclosure - 25A C.M.R. s.2.05(15)