If you are a broker who markets dwellings for sale or rent, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has specific guidelines requiring that you display a fair housing poster. [24 Code of Federal Regulations §§110.1, 110.10, 110.20]
The fair housing poster needs to be displayed:
- in your place of business; and
- at any dwelling offered for sale or rent, other than single family residences (SFRs). [24 CFR §110.10(a)]
Thus, if you hold an open house at an SFR listed for resale, you are not required to display the fair housing poster at the residence.
However, if the SFR is marketed as part of a residential development, the developer must display the fair housing poster during construction of the development. Later, the poster is to be displayed in the model dwellings whether or not the dwellings are offered for sale or sold through a broker. [24 CFR §§110.10(a)(2)(ii), 110.10(a)(3)]
The fair housing posters need to be placed where they can be easily seen by any persons seeking to:
- engage the services of the broker to list or locate a dwelling; or
- purchase a dwelling in a residential development. [24 CFR §110.15]
Even though it is required, you will not be subject to any direct penalties for failing to display the fair housing poster. However, failure to display the fair housing poster as required is sufficient evidence in a lawsuit to show that you engaged in discriminatory housing practices. [24 CFR §110.30]
If you follow HUD advertisement guidelines and display the fair housing poster, you are less likely to practice a discriminatory activity. The fair housing poster assures potential clients that you do not unlawfully discriminate in the services you offer.
Also, if you follow HUD advertising and poster guidelines, you are in a better position to defend yourself against a fair housing lawsuit. Using the fair housing poster demonstrates to the public your willingness to work with all individuals.