"I have sold several rentals I managed for owners this year. Hire me to manage your rental today!" - Naomi Burke/Manager: (253) 683.0093
Office phones: (253) 531-1010(253) 531.2000(253) 531.2600 Fax: (253) 531-5358 Email: Managers@bciprop.com
Banner Snack

Main Content

Home » Advertising Restrictions & Red Letter Words

Advertising Restrictions & Red Letter Words

ADVERTISING RESTRICTIONS for owners of Real Estate!

Did you know, that real estate advertising by owners or their agent is highly regulated and restrictive? Yes, it is, by law. Did you know that the Federal Government has issued a “red letter” list of words we cannot use in any advertising? Yes, it is true.

Acceptable terms and phrases may seem arbitrary to you, but as a housing advertiser, you’d better know which ones can spark a complaint by consumers because many words aren’t no-no’s until they offend someone, and then it’s too late.

So if you’ve ever wondered whether it’s acceptable to call the biggest bedroom in the house the “master,” or to call a third-floor apartment a “walk-up,” or to call a gated community “exclusive,” then this article is for you.

Section 804(c)

According to the Guidance Regarding Advertisements Under 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act, Section 804(c) of the Act “prohibits the making, printing and publishing of advertisements which state a preference, limitation or discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. The prohibition applies to publishers, such as newspapers and directories,” continues Section 804(c) as well as to persons and entities who place real estate advertisements. It also applies to advertisements where the underlying property may be exempt from the provisions of the Act, but where the advertisement itself violates the Act. See 42 U.S.C. 3603 (b).

Words we can not use in Real Estate Advertisements

Able-bodied
Active
Able-bodied
Active
AFDC (welfare)
Adult Building
Adult Community
Adult Living
Adult(s) Only
Adult(s) Preferred
African-American
American
Approval Required
Asian
Bachelor Apartment, Pad, etc.
Black
Blind
Board Membership
Catholic
Caucasian
Chicano
Child, One OK, Two OK, etc
Children, No
Children OK
Chinese
Christian
Church(es), Close to/Near
Colored
Contemporary Lifestyle
Country Club
Couple(s)
Crippled/Cripples
Deaf
Elderly
Employed, Must Be
Empty-nester(s)
English-speaking
Ethnic Neighborhood
Exclusive Neighborhood/Street
Family
Family Neighborhood
First Time Buyers (use with caution)
Foreigners
Gays
Golden-ager(s)
Handicapped
Hispanic
Handyman’s Special (use “fixer-upper”)
Heterosexual
His and Hers
Homosexual
Ideal for…
Immigrant(s)
Indian
Integrated
Interracial
Irish
Jewish
Latino
Lesbian
Living Alone, Capable of
Married
Membership/Board Approval Required
Mentally Handicapped
Mentally Ill
Mentally Retarded
Mexican-American
Middle-aged
Mixed Community
Mormon
Mosque
Neighborhood, Description of ( i.e. Family Neighborhood)
Newlyweds
Older Person(s)
One Child (or any number)
One Person (or any number)
Oriental
Parish, Close to/near
Parish, name of
Perfect for
Person(s), number of (any number)
Physically Fit
Play area, no
Polish
Prefer…
Private (can use but with caution)
Privileged
Professional Home
Public Assistance
Professional
Protestant
Puerto Rican
Quiet (quiet street ok, not dwelling or describing occupants)
Rent Calculated Per Person
Restricted/Restriction(s)
Retarded
Retired Person(s)
Retiree
Seasonal Worker(s)
Section 8, no
Section 8, OK
Section 8, welcome
Secure (use: “security system,” etc)
Segregated
Senior Discount
Senior Housing
Senior(s) Welcome
Straight(s)
SSD (Social Security Dis.)., No
SSI (Social Security Ins.), No
Suitable for…
Suitable for ___person(s) (any number)
Synagogue
Traditional
Unemployed
US Citizen
Walk to OR Walking distance to (you may use “close to” or “close by”)
Welfare
White
Working, must be
Young
Youthful

EXCEPTIONS:
Senior Housing, or other housing for ANY protected class, must have written approval of their exemptions and affirmative marketing plan from HUD and a copy of such documents must be provided to the PressRepublican upon request.

A number of occupants can be specified for student housing. Instances where there are shared living space, you may use specify a preference for “Male” or “Female” roommate. The Fair Housing Act recognizes the right to privacy in those instances.