Real Estate Advertisements

Real Estate Advertisements

Federal, state, and local law prohibit discriminatory advertising for residential or commercial apartments, home sales, or lease, credit options, or loan products.

Violations of the law typically occur through the use of certain words or phrases in the ad.  The law prohibits the making, printing, and publishing of ads that directly or indirectly state a preference or limitation on the basis of any of the protected classes.  Learn more about the protected classes. To avoid violations, consider limiting advertising descriptions to features of the property.

Likely to be discriminatory:

White family home
No Irish
Christian home
No programs
No Section 8
No wheelchairs
No small children
Couple preferred
Heavily Jewish area
Adult or mature couple

Unlikely to be discriminatory:

No smoking
Walk to bus stop
Income and credit check
No elevator

Note that exemptions in the application of fair housing laws may make certain qualifications in a real estate ad, such as "female roommate wanted" permissible.  Learn more about when fair housing laws apply.

If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination, contact us to file a complaint. The New York City Human Rights Law requires that the complaint be filed within one year from the date of the last alleged act of discrimination.

If you would like to attend a free workshop on the New York City Human Rights Law, visit the events tab for upcoming workshop or visit the contact us tab to contact call the New York City Commission on Human Rights.