DISCLOSURE & STATEMENTS
WHAT IS AVAILABLE THROUGH listings.com/kim.hoffman?
The listings.com/kim.hoffman website and its affiliated sub-domain sites, such as RealEstate.listings.com/kim.hoffman and Home.listings.com/kim.hoffman and Property.listings.com/kim.hoffman along with it’s ‘city’ sub-domain sites, provide visitors with one of the most up to date and expansive web sites for accessing active real estate listings, foreclosure properties and sold property information available in the United States. Gain access to over 100 million property, ownership, sales, and mortgage records, covering more than 85% of the U.S. population and access extensive property information for homes, condos, townhouses, and multifamily properties actively listed in the MLS and updated daily! You now have access to much of the same data used by Realtors! It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s free!
Through listings.com/kim.hoffman visitors can search ALL actively listed real estate listings available through IDX Internet Data Exchange agreements with local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) providers in cities where listings.com/kim.hoffman has an active ‘city’ site. These agreements, as well as agreements with other providers allow for the most comprehensive source of real estate properties for sale in any city with a listings.com/kim.hoffman ‘city’ site. Property information is updated daily (every 15 minutes in most locations), and our site allows for automated email updates of price reductions and new real estate listings in areas you designate as well as a ‘favorites’ section to very easily track, view, and save properties of interest which puts you in the driver’s seat!
The listings.com/kim.hoffman site also serves as a Premiere resource for finding pre-screened, LOCAL professionals from some of the most respected companies in the nation for real estate related services. These services include real estate brokerage representation for buying or selling, mortgage lending, title, escrow, 1031 Exchanges, Insurance, and many other ancillary services. listings.com/kim.hoffman also serves as a resource for visitors to find Lenders and Realtors with the specialized experience needed to represent you in your real estate purchase or sale. In certain geographic areas Domaine Real Estate provides Buyer and Seller agency representation in the purchase and sale of real estate.
When the listings.com/kim.hoffman service connects visitors with top real estate professionals in our network, a real estate brokerage partner may pay a referral fee upon the successful closing of a property when Domaine Real Estate acts as a referring broker to another real estate broker in our network of preferred providers. Our Preferred providers can be contacted through the listings.com/kim.hoffman sites. For its services, Domaine Real Estate receives a real estate brokerage referral fee from the local broker’s commission. Throughout the process, our site, tools and expertise are there as a constant resource to help ensure a successful transaction and to provide access to LOCAL Professionals when you need them!
listings.com/kim.hoffman consistently strives to operate at the highest standards. The technology and security used to provide web-based services to visitors and clients is the same technology used by many Fortune 500 companies. Keeping your information safe and secure is a top priority. You may opt out at any time and your information is not sold to others as is done by many of the largest real estate portals. We are an anti-spam company and provide multiple ways for you to be in control of your personal information and the information you receive from our family of web sites.
CORPORATE OFFICE LOCATIONS
listings.com/kim.hoffman Denver Office
9800 Mount Pyramid Court, Suite 400
Englewood, Colorado 80112
license: EL 40044921
listings.com/kim.hoffman Seattle Office
600 Stewart Street, Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98101
listings.com/kim.hoffman Miami Office
1801 N.E. 123rd Street, Suite 314
North Miami, FL 33181
Phone: 877-547-8464 (1-877-LISTINGS)
listings.com/kim.hoffman Puerto Rico
Metro Office Park 7 Street 1, Suite 204
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00968
Phone: 877-547-8464 (1-877-LISTINGS)
REALTOR CODE OF ETHICS AND STANDARDS OF PRACTICE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Where the word Realtors® is used in this Code and Preamble, it shall be deemed to include Realtor-Associate®s. While the Code of Ethics establishes obligations that may be higher than those mandated by law, in any instance where the Code of Ethics and the law conflict, the obligations of the law must take precedence.
Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. Realtors® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.
Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which Realtors® should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves. Realtors®, therefore, are zealous to maintain and improve the standards of their calling and share with their fellow Realtors® a common responsibility for its integrity and honor.
In recognition and appreciation of their obligations to clients, customers, the public, and each other, Realtors® continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting real estate and, as knowledgeable professionals, they willingly share the fruit of their experience and study with others. They identify and take steps, through enforcement of this Code of Ethics and by assisting appropriate regulatory bodies, to eliminate practices which may damage the public or which might discredit or bring dishonor to the real estate profession. Realtors® having direct personal knowledge of conduct that may violate the Code of Ethics involving misappropriation of client or customer funds or property, willful discrimination, or fraud resulting in substantial economic harm, bring such matters to the attention of the appropriate Board or Association of Realtors®. (Amended 1/00) Realizing that cooperation with other real estate professionals promotes the best interests of those who utilize their services, Realtors® urge exclusive representation of clients; do not attempt to gain any unfair advantage over their competitors; and they refrain from making unsolicited comments about other practitioners. In instances where their opinion is sought, or where Realtors® believe that comment is necessary, their opinion is offered in an objective, professional manner, uninfluenced by any personal motivation or potential advantage or gain.
The term Realtor® has come to connote competency, fairness, and high integrity resulting from adherence to a lofty ideal of moral conduct in business relations. No inducement of profit and no instruction from clients ever can justify departure from this ideal. In the interpretation of this obligation, Realtors® can take no safer guide than that which has been handed down through the centuries, embodied in the Golden Rule, “Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them.”
Accepting this standard as their own, Realtors® pledge to observe its spirit in all of their activities whether conducted personally, through associates or others, or via technological means, and to conduct their business in accordance with the tenets set forth below. (Amended 1/07)”
Duties to Clients and Customers
Duties to Clients and Customers
When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, Realtors® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. This obligation to the client is primary, but it does not relieve Realtors® of their obligation to treat all parties honestly. When serving a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant or other party in a non-agency capacity, Realtors® remain obligated to treat all parties honestly. (Amended 1/01)
Standard of Practice 1-1
Realtors®, when acting as principals in a real estate transaction, remain obligated by the duties imposed by the Code of Ethics. (Amended 1/93)
Standard of Practice 1-2
The duties imposed by the Code of Ethics encompass all real estate-related activities and transactions whether conducted in person, electronically, or through any other means.
The duties the Code of Ethics imposes are applicable whether Realtors® are acting as agents or in legally recognized non-agency capacities except that any duty imposed exclusively on agents by law or regulation shall not be imposed by this Code of Ethics on Realtors® acting in non-agency capacities.
As used in this Code of Ethics, “client” means the person(s) or entity(ies) with whom a Realtor® or a Realtor®’s firm has an agency or legally recognized non-agency relationship; “customer” means a party to a real estate transaction who receives information, services, or benefits but has no contractual relationship with the Realtor® or the Realtor®’s firm; “prospect” means a purchaser, seller, tenant, or landlord who is not subject to a representation relationship with the Realtor® or Realtor®’s firm; “agent” means a real estate licensee (including brokers and sales associates) acting in an agency relationship as defined by state law or regulation; and “broker” means a real estate licensee (including brokers and sales associates) acting as an agent or in a legally recognized non-agency capacity. (Adopted 1/95, Amended 1/07)
Standard of Practice 1-3
Realtors®, in attempting to secure a listing, shall not deliberately mislead the owner as to market value.
Standard of Practice 1-4
Realtors®, when seeking to become a buyer/tenant representative, shall not mislead buyers or tenants as to savings or other benefits that might be realized through use of the Realtor®’s services. (Amended 1/93)
Standard of Practice 1-5
Realtors® may represent the seller/landlord and buyer/tenant in the same transaction only after full disclosure to and with informed consent of both parties. (Adopted 1/93)
Standard of Practice 1-6
Realtors® shall submit offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/95)
Standard of Practice 1-7
When acting as listing brokers, Realtors® shall continue to submit to the seller/landlord all offers and counter-offers until closing or execution of a lease unless the seller/landlord has waived this obligation in writing. Realtors® shall not be obligated to continue to market the property after an offer has been accepted by the seller/landlord. Realtors® shall recommend that sellers/landlords obtain the advice of legal counsel prior to acceptance of a subsequent offer except where the acceptance is contingent on the termination of the pre-existing purchase contract or lease. (Amended 1/93)
Standard of Practice 1-8
Realtors®, acting as agents or brokers of buyers/tenants, shall submit to buyers/tenants all offers and counter-offers until acceptance but have no obligation to continue to show properties to their clients after an offer has been accepted unless otherwise agreed in writing. Realtors®, acting as agents or brokers of buyers/tenants, shall recommend that buyers/tenants obtain the advice of legal counsel if there is a question as to whether a pre-existing contract has been terminated. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/99)
Standard of Practice 1-9
The obligation of Realtors® to preserve confidential information (as defined by state law) provided by their clients in the course of any agency relationship or non-agency relationship recognized by law continues after termination of agency relationships or any non-agency relationships recognized by law.
Realtors® shall not knowingly, during or following the termination of professional relationships with their clients:
reveal confidential information of clients; or
use confidential information of clients to the disadvantage of clients; or
use confidential information of clients for the Realtor®’s advantage or the advantage of third parties unless:
clients consent after full disclosure; or
Realtors® are required by court order; or
it is the intention of a client to commit a crime and the information is necessary to prevent the crime; or
it is necessary to defend a Realtor® or the Realtor®’s employees or associates against an accusation of wrongful conduct. Information concerning latent material defects is not considered confidential information under this Code of Ethics. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/01)
Standard of Practice 1-10
Realtors® shall, consistent with the terms and conditions of their real estate licensure and their property management agreement, competently manage the property of clients with due regard for the rights, safety and health of tenants and others lawfully on the premises. (Adopted 1/95, Amended 1/00)
Standard of Practice 1-11
Realtors® who are employed to maintain or manage a client’s property shall exercise due diligence and make reasonable efforts to protect it against reasonably foreseeable contingencies and losses. (Adopted 1/95)
Standard of Practice 1-12
When entering into listing contracts, Realtors® must advise sellers/ landlords of:
clients consent after full disclosure; or
the Realtor®’s company policies regarding cooperation and the amount(s) of any compensation that will be offered to subagents, buyer/tenant agents, and/or brokers acting in legally recognized non-agency capacities;
the fact that buyer/tenant agents or brokers, even if compensated by listing brokers, or by sellers/landlords may represent the interests of buyers/tenants; and
any potential for listing brokers to act as disclosed dual agents, e.g. buyer/tenant agents. (Adopted 1/93, Renumbered 1/98, Amended 1/03)
Standard of Practice 1-13
When entering into buyer/tenant agreements, Realtors® must advise potential clients of:
the Realtor®’s company policies regarding cooperation;
the amount of compensation to be paid by the client;
the potential for additional or offsetting compensation from other brokers, from the seller or landlord, or from other parties;
any potential for the buyer/tenant representative to act as a disclosed dual agent, e.g. listing broker, subagent, landlord’s agent, etc., and
the possibility that sellers or sellers’ representatives may not treat the existence, terms, or conditions of offers as confidential unless confidentiality is required by law, regulation, or by any confidentiality agreement between the parties. (Adopted 1/93, Renumbered 1/98, Amended 1/06)
Standard of Practice 1-14
Fees for preparing appraisals or other valuations shall not be contingent upon the amount of the appraisal or valuation. (Adopted 1/02)
Standard of Practice 1-15
Realtors®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property.
Where disclosure is authorized, Realtors® shall also disclose whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker. (Adopted 1/03, Amended 1/06)
Realtors® shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction. Realtors® shall not, however, be obligated to discover latent defects in the property, to advise on matters outside the scope of their real estate license, or to disclose facts which are confidential under the scope of agency or non-agency relationships as defined by state law. (Amended 1/00)
Standard of Practice 2-1
Realtors® shall only be obligated to discover and disclose adverse factors reasonably apparent to someone with expertise in those areas required by their real estate licensing authority. Article 2 does not impose upon the Realtor® the obligation of expertise in other professional or technical disciplines. (Amended 1/96)
Standard of Practice 2-2
(Renumbered as Standard of Practice 1-12 1/98)
Standard of Practice 2-3
(Renumbered as Standard of Practice 1-13 1/98)
Standard of Practice 2-4
Realtors® shall not be parties to the naming of a false consideration in any document, unless it be the naming of an obviously nominal consideration.
Standard of Practice 2-5
Factors defined as “non-material” by law or regulation or which are expressly referenced in law or regulation as not being subject to disclosure are considered not “pertinent” for purposes of Article 2. (Adopted 1/93)
Realtors® shall cooperate with other brokers except when cooperation is not in the client’s best interest. The obligation to cooperate does not include the obligation to share commissions, fees, or to otherwise compensate another broker. (Amended 1/95)
Standard of Practice 3-1
Realtors®, acting as exclusive agents or brokers of sellers/landlords, establish the terms and conditions of offers to cooperate. Unless expressly indicated in offers to cooperate, cooperating brokers may not assume that the offer of cooperation includes an offer of compensation. Terms of compensation, if any, shall be ascertained by cooperating brokers before beginning efforts to accept the offer of cooperation. (Amended 1/99)
Standard of Practice 3-2
Realtors® shall, with respect to offers of compensation to another Realtor®, timely communicate any change of compensation for cooperative services to the other Realtor® prior to the time such Realtor® produces an offer to purchase/lease the property. (Amended 1/94)
Standard of Practice 3-3
Standard of Practice 3-2 does not preclude the listing broker and cooperating broker from entering into an agreement to change cooperative compensation. (Adopted 1/94)
Standard of Practice 3-4
Realtors®, acting as listing brokers, have an affirmative obligation to disclose the existence of dual or variable rate commission arrangements (i.e., listings where one amount of commission is payable if the listing broker’s firm is the procuring cause of sale/lease and a different amount of commission is payable if the sale/lease results through the efforts of the seller/landlord or a cooperating broker). The listing broker shall, as soon as practical, disclose the existence of such arrangements to potential cooperating brokers and shall, in response to inquiries from cooperating brokers, disclose the differential that would result in a cooperative transaction or in a sale/lease that results through the efforts of the seller/landlord. If the cooperating broker is a buyer/tenant representative, the buyer/ tenant representative must disclose such information to their client before the client makes an offer to purchase or lease. (Amended 1/02)
Standard of Practice 3-5
It is the obligation of subagents to promptly disclose all pertinent facts to the principal’s agent prior to as well as after a purchase or lease agreement is executed. (Amended 1/93)
Standard of Practice 3-6
Realtors® shall disclose the existence of accepted offers, including offers with unresolved contingencies, to any broker seeking cooperation. (Adopted 5/86, Amended 1/04)
Standard of Practice 3-7
When seeking information from another Realtor® concerning property under a management or listing agreement, Realtors® shall disclose their Realtor® status and whether their interest is personal or on behalf of a client and, if on behalf of a client, their representational status. (Amended 1/95)
Standard of Practice 3-8
Realtors® shall not misrepresent the availability of access to show or inspect a listed property. (Amended 11/87)
The information provided below is provided by the U.S. Department of Justice. The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) administers and enforces federal laws and establishes policies that make sure all Americans have equal access to the housing of their choice.
U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
The Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq., prohibits discrimination by direct providers of housing, such as landlords and real estate companies as well as other entities, such as municipalities, banks or other lending institutions and homeowners insurance companies whose discriminatory practices make housing unavailable to persons because of: race or color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or disability.
In cases involving discrimination in mortgage loans or home improvement loans, the Department may file suit under both the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
Under the Fair Housing Act, the Department of Justice may bring lawsuits where there is reason to believe that a person or entity is engaged in a “pattern or practice” of discrimination or where a denial of rights to a group of persons raises an issue of general public importance.
Where force or threat of force is used to deny or interfere with fair housing rights, the Department of Justice may institute criminal proceedings.
The Fair Housing Act also provides procedures for handling individual complaints of discrimination. Individuals who believe that they have been victims of an illegal housing practice, may file a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] or file their own lawsuit in federal or state court. The Department of Justice brings suits on behalf of individuals based on referrals from HUD.
Discrimination in Housing Based Upon Race or Color
One of the central objectives of the Fair Housing Act, when Congress enacted it in 1968, was to prohibit race discrimination in sales and rentals of housing. Nevertheless, more than 30 years later, race discrimination in housing continues to be a problem. The majority of the Justice Department’s pattern or practicecases involve claims of race discrimination.
Sometimes, housing providers try to disguise their discrimination by giving false information about availability of housing, either saying that nothing was available or steering homeseekers to certain areas based on race. Individuals who receive such false information or misdirection may have no knowledge that they have been victims of discrimination. The Department of Justice has brought many cases alleging this kind of discrimination based on race or color. In addition, the Department’s Fair Housing Testing Program seeks to uncover this kind of hidden discrimination and hold those responsible accountable.
Most of the mortgage lending cases brought by the Department under the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act have alleged discrimination based on race or color. Some of the Department’s cases have also alleged that municipalities and other local government entities violated the Fair Housing Act when they denied permits or zoning changes for housing developments, or relegated them to predominantly minority neighborhoods, because the prospective residents were expected to be predominantly African-Americans.
Discrimination in Housing Based Upon Religion
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based upon religion. This prohibition covers instances of overt discrimination against members of a particular religion as well less direct actions, such as zoning ordinances designed to limit the use of private homes as a places of worship. The number of cases filed since 1968 alleging religious discrimination is small in comparison to some of the other prohibited bases, such as race or national origin.
The Act does contain a limited exception that allows non-commercial housing operated by a religious organization to reserve such housing to persons of the same religion.
Discrimination in Housing Based Upon Sex, Including Sexual Harassment
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in housing on the basis of sex. In recent years, the Department’s focus in this area has been to challenge sexual harassment in housing. Women, particularly those who are poor, and with limited housing options, often have little recourse but to tolerate the humiliation and degradation of sexual harassment or risk having their families and themselves removed from their homes. The Department’s enforcement program is aimed at landlords who create an untenable living environment by demanding sexual favors from tenants or by creating a sexually hostile environment for them. In this manner we seek both to obtain relief for tenants who have been treated unfairly by a landlord because of sex and also deter other potential abusers by making it clear that they cannot continue their conduct without facing repercussions.
In addition, pricing discrimination in mortgage lending may also adversely affect women, particularly minority women. This type of discrimination is unlawful under both the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
Discrimination in Housing Based Upon National Origin
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based upon national origin. Such discrimination can be based either upon the country of an individual’s birth or where his or her ancestors originated.
Census data indicate that the Hispanic population is the fastest growing segment of our nation’s population. The Justice Department has taken enforcement action against municipal governments that have tried to reduce or limit the number of Hispanic families that may live in their communities. We have sued lenders under both the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act when they have imposed more stringent underwriting standards on home loans or made loans on less favorable terms for Hispanic borrowers. The Department has also sued lenders for discrimination against Native Americans.
Other areas of the country have experienced an increasing diversity of national origin groups within their populations. This includes new immigrants from Southeastern Asia, such as the Hmong, the former Soviet Union, and other portions of Eastern Europe. We have taken action against private landlords who have discriminated against such individuals.
Discrimination in Housing Based Upon Familial Status
The Fair Housing Act, with some exceptions, prohibits discrimination in housing against families with children under 18. In addition to prohibiting an outright denial of housing to families with children, the Act also prevents housing providers from imposing any special requirements or conditions on tenants with custody of children. For example, landlords may not locate families with children in any single portion of a complex, place an unreasonable restriction on the total number of persons who may reside in a dwelling, or limit their access to recreational services provided to other tenants.
In most instances, the amended Fair Housing Act prohibits a housing provider from refusing to rent or sell to families with children. However, some facilities may be designated as Housing for Older Persons (55 years of age). This type of housing, which meets the standards set forth in the Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995, may operate as “senior” housing. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has published regulations and additional guidance detailing these statutory requirements.
Discrimination in Housing Based Upon Disability
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all types of housing transactions. The Act defines persons with a disability to mean those individuals with mental or physical impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities. The term mental or physical impairment may include conditions such as blindness, hearing impairment, mobility impairment, HIV infection, mental retardation, alcoholism, drug addiction, chronic fatigue, learning disability, head injury, and mental illness. The term major life activity may include seeing, hearing, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, caring for one’s self, learning, speaking, or working. The Fair Housing Act also protects persons who have a record of such an impairment, or are regarded as having such an impairment. Current users of illegal controlled substances, persons convicted for illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance, sex offenders, and juvenile offenders are not considered disabled under the Fair Housing Act, by virtue of that status.
The Fair Housing Act affords no protections to individuals with or without disabilities who present a direct threat to the persons or property of others. Determining whether someone poses such a direct threat must be made on an individualized basis, however, and cannot be based on general assumptions or speculation about the nature of a disability.
The Division’s enforcement of the Fair Housing Act’s protections for persons with disabilities has concentrated on two major areas. One is insuring that zoning and other regulations concerning land use are not employed to hinder the residential choices of these individuals, including unnecessarily restricting communal, or congregate, residential arrangements, such as group homes. The second area is insuring that newly constructed multifamily housing is built in accordance with the Fair Housing Act’s accessibility requirements so that it is accessible to and usable by people with disabilities, and, in particular, those who use wheelchairs.
There are other federal statutes that prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is enforced by the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division.
Discrimination in Housing Based Upon Disability
Some individuals with disabilities may live together in congregate living arrangements, often referred to as “group homes.” The Fair Housing Act prohibits municipalities and other local government entities from making zoning or land use decisions or implementing land use policies that exclude or otherwise discriminate against individuals with disabilities.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful —
To utilize land use policies or actions that treat groups of persons with disabilities less favorably than groups of non-disabled persons. An example would be an ordinance prohibiting housing for persons with disabilities or a specific type of disability, such as mental illness, from locating in a particular area, while allowing other groups of unrelated individuals to live together in that area.¦ To take action against, or deny a permit, for a home because of the disability of individuals who live or would live there. An example would be denying a building permit for a home because it was intended to provide housing for persons with mental retardation.
To refuse to make reasonable accommodations in land use and zoning policies and procedures where such accommodations may be necessary to afford persons or groups of persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to use and enjoy housing. What constitutes a reasonable accommodation is a case-by-case determination. Not all requested modifications of rules or policies are reasonable. If a requested modification imposes an undue financial or administrative burden on a local government, or if a modification creates a fundamental alteration in a local government’s land use and zoning scheme, it is not a “reasonable” accommodation.
There has been a significant amount of litigation concerning the ability of local governmental units to exercise control over group living arrangements, particularly for persons with disabilities. To provide guidance on these issues, the Departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development have issued aJoint Statement on Group Homes, Local Land Use and the Fair Housing Act.
Discrimination in Housing Based Upon Disability — Accessibility Features for New Construction
The Fair Housing Act defines discrimination in housing against persons with disabilities to include a failure “to design and construct” certain new multi-family dwellings so that they are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, and particularly people who use wheelchairs. The Act requires all newly constructed multi-family dwellings of four or more units intended for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, to have certain features: an accessible entrance on an accessible route, accessible common and public use areas, doors sufficiently wide to accommodate wheelchairs, accessible routes into and through each dwelling, light switches, electrical outlets, and thermostats in accessible location, reinforcements in bathroom walls to accommodate grab bar installations, and usable kitchens and bathrooms configured so that a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.
Developers, builders, owners, and architects responsible for the design or construction of new multi-family housing may be held liable under the Fair Housing Act if their buildings fail to meet these design requirements. The Department of Justice has brought many enforcement actions against those who failed to do so. Most of the cases have been resolved by consent decrees providing a variety of types of relief, including: retrofitting to bring inaccessible features into compliance where feasible and where it is not — alternatives (monetary funds or other construction requirements) that will provide for making other housing units accessible; training on the accessibility requirements for those involved in the construction process; a mandate that all new housing projects comply with the accessibility requirements, and monetary relief for those injured by the violations. In addition, the Department has sought to promote accessibility through building codes.
Questions are the root of all answers.