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Hartford County Real Estate Firm Told to Pay Fine For Discriminatory Ads, Listing

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A Hartford County Real Estate company and realtor found it the hard way that it does not pay to publish discriminatory listings and advertisements. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ordered the Lil-1 Associates, AllPoints Realty and realtor Lillian Polak to pay more than $24,000 to settle allegations of discrimination when it placed an listing for condominiums specifying that children were not permitted.

 

The penalty was contained in a Conciliation Agreement between complainant Connecticut Fair Housing Center (CFHC) and the respondents.

 

The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to refuse to sell or rent housing on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status.  This includes refusing to allow families with children under 18 unless the property qualifies as housing for older persons. 

 

“Refusing to sell or rent housing to families with children is against the law unless the property meets the very specific requirements of housing for older persons,” said Bryan Greene, HUD's General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue to enforce the Fair Housing Act and ensure that real estate brokers and agents do not illegally limit the housing options of families because they have children.”

 

The agreement settles a complaint filed with HUD by CFHC, an organization that receives HUD funding to investigate housing discrimination, alleging that Lil-1, AllPoints and Polak placed internet advertisements and a listing in the Multiple Listing Service that specified that children were not permitted at the advertised condominiums in Plainville, CT.  Respondents also allegedly verbally communicated the policy of prohibiting families with children to a CFHC tester posing as a potential buyer.  The condo complex is not housing for older persons.

 

Under the terms of the agreement, the respondents will pay CFHC $24,375.00 in damages. AllPoints also agreed to ensure that its employees attend fair housing training, and to hold itself out as an equal opportunity housing provider in future advertisements. The company also agreed to inform any property owners seeking to list rentals or sales with limitations against families with children that doing so is a violation of the Fair Housing Act.  Lil-1 Associates has ceased operations.

 

Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed at www.hud.gov/fairhousing or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

 

Realtors and homebuyers who are looking for fair advertisements and listings should avail of the latest technology that provides fair and accurate ads. One of the firms that offers such kind of technology is digital media firm Realbiz Media Group, Inc. (OTCQB: RBIZ)are changing the marketing landscape by providing real estate professionals a new avenue to promote themselves and their business.   

 

RealBiz Media’s Nestbuilder.com, for example, aims to bestow agents control over how they want to run marketing campaigns for their listings. The portal has been launched at a time when the only means for agents to capture leads is to buy them from listing companies and websites.

“Nestbuilder.com’s mission is to both empower the real estate agentand to connect the homeowner and homebuyer directly with the agent in a personalized and meaningful relationship without interference from large, impersonal, third party lead generation sites,” Realbiz Media President and Chief Revenue Officer Steve Marques noted in a statement.

“Homebuyers are able to create personalized video collections of potential homes to be set-up for review and sharing. Agents can quickly bring their listings to life via RealBiz’s rich video conversion tools, and market their properties directly to homeowners and homebuyers in a personalized, customized, entertaining, and engaging format no matter where they are," Marques said of the platform.

RealBiz is a publicly traded company. Its stocks closed at $0.13, up by 8.25 percent from its previous close.

The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

 

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