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Can a Florida real estate broker report a violation to HUD…

Customer Question
Can a Florida real...

Can a Florida real estate broker report a violation to HUD for Fair Housing Violation and Discrimination of protected classes committed by their client?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Florida

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

No

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I canceled our business with the client due to Fair Housing, HIPPA, and other Federal Regulations committed on behalf of the client. Now the client is choosing to retaliate against and I don't know what I can or should do at this point.

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 1 minute by:
12/4/2017
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,210
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
Verified

Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I understand, and yes. Feel free to ask any additional questions as necessary.
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Great, thank you! Could you help me understand what happened with this client that is giving you concern?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I have a situation where my company assisted a property owner with acquiring tenants. The property owner chose to, in writing, state they did not want to rent to twenty-somethings or folks who have had a past substance abuse treatment, and went on a spree about how two of the tenants knew each other from a medical facility and what they were being treated for, etc. I backed away from the situation and gave it pause hoping that maybe I was the one who misunderstood the situation. The owner then began asking for me to turn over any criminal histories, credit reports, and applications on the tenants and any other who applied to lease an apartment on the premises. I verbally explained the reason I could not do such. It seemed to only aggravate the situation even more so. Then, for the Thanksgiving holiday, I traveled out of state for family/personal reasons. The same owner felt it was her right to harass my staff and insist on knowing why I went out of town and even to asky by what mode of transportation I took. It's really began to turn into an ordeal. Today, in writing I requested of this former client the address of which she wants her final disbursement sent to, to which she's not responded with that information. She texts and emails calling me names etc (childish I know). I've provided her with the accounting ledger for the occupied units so she can see what she's owed and she's been asked to cease any and all communication from that point..... she still continues. The only responses I have given her are professional ones and ones backed by statute. Because of my choosing to disengage with her I think she may have even made a complaint with the DBPR. The complaint is speculation only at this point, but who knows. I wouldn't put it past the situation. I don't know what direction I should go with this.There are tenants occupying that are a protected class... actually all of them are of a protected class. I also do not want to suffer any repercussions from the tenants that could arise from how they may be treated by the owner. I marketed the property, procured the lease, and all management is turned over to the owner.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I have a paper trail of everything, just FYI.
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Great, thank you! There's a lot to read. Could you help me understand what happened with this client that is giving you concern?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I just explained it. Our client is discriminating against tenants we placed and is retaliating against us for our reason to cancel business relations.
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Goodness, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to put that. Typographical error. What I mean is could you give me a moment to review?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Oh. Apologies! Sure. No problem.
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Thanks so much for your patience on this. I'm sorry for the delay. I have reason to believe that if you think that this person is engaging in actions that are discriminatory, you should file a complaint with HUD and your local fair housing commission as well. Many times, people will use things like "criminal record" or "drug abuse" to screen out applicants or prospective buyers; however, it is usually a code word to help them screen out people of color, disabled people, or anyone that is within a protected class. If she is only accepted one group of people and excluding others, then you should file a complaint and I'd recommend you do so. Usually, you can file those complaints anonymously, but you should provide whatever documentation you have so they can investigate more easily.

What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
She gave me a directive to do the discriminating... to screen out those who are in the 20-something age cohort and ones who have undergone medical treatment for alcohol or substance abuse. (Which I have not followed through with of course). I know that once the complaint is made she will come after my real estate license; which is ultra important to me that it remains ACTIVE and in good standing. Are there any measure of which I can practice to protect myself and my business against such acts?
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

As a licensed professional, I can certainly understand. However, you have to look at this from the perspective of the licensing board. Would they sanction you for legally reporting someone who is discriminating on the basis of age and disability? There's a very low probability that this would occur in my opinion. So long as you have documentation, then it'll only help to prove your case. What other questions did you have for me?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
That was all. This was my first encounter in 12 years with this sort of situation and it really shocked me that such a thing would be so overt. Thank you for your time and your assistance! Have a good day!
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

The pleasure is all mine! There’s just a few other things I’d like you to know before we wrap up this conversation:

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