Recently, a person took to Reddit asking for legal advice as she and her boyfriend were rejected for a house as they were not married. Here’s the full story.
She Has Been Looking for a House for a Long Time
The Original Poster (OP) is a 28-year-old who lives with her 30-year-old boyfriend. They have been looking for a house to buy since the beginning of the year.
They recently relocated to Pennsylvania and have been renting an Airbnb until they find a perfect place to call home.
They Found a Perfect Place and Made a Great Offer
Recently, they made an offer on a house they loved.
Their top offer amount was roughly $15,000 more than the second-highest offer. It was evident from the feedback they received from their realtor that their offer was the best choice the sellers could have made.
They Made a Better Offer
OP made a cash offer while the “winning” purchaser chose conventional mortgage financing with a $10,000 appraisal gap.
Things Took a Turn
However, things didn’t go as expected. The selling agent informed OP that the sellers had selected a different offer.
The Winning Buyers Have Written a Letter to the Sellers
As it turns out, the “winning” buyers had included a letter to the sellers mentioning that they have 2 sons, and the sellers loved them.
Buyers’ “Strong Christian Faith”
OP’s realtor told her that there was a discussion of the “winning” buyers’ “strong Christian faith” in the letter. It seemed like that was part of the deciding factor.
She Thinks the Sellers Are Guilty of Marital Status Discrimination
OP’s realtor pointed out that as OP and her BF weren’t married, it may have played a part in the situation.
OP says she doesn’t know the specifics of what was agreed upon in writing between the realtors, but she does know some of it.
A Case of Discrimination?
OP believes they may have a case for family, if not marital status, discrimination at the very least. Since they never talked to anyone about their faith, religion would likely be far-fetched.
They Filed an Ethical Complaint
Now OP’s realtor said that she was filing an ethical complaint against the selling agent. They’re claiming that the offer letter provides grounds for discrimination.
The Fair Housing Act Prohibits Refusal to Sell Based on Race, Religion, Gender, Color, or National Origin
OP took to Reddit to ask for legal advice and if any other persons have been in this situation before. Several Redditors commented and shared their thoughts.
The FHA Does Not Enumerate Marital or Familial Status
One Reddit user wrote, “The Fair Housing Act prohibits refusal to sell based on race, religion, gender, color, or national origin. The FHA does not enumerate marital or familial status. Some states and localities further protect classes but you don’t list your location.”
“It should be noted that having a selection bias in favor of a separate party because they potentially share a religion does not mean that the seller refused to sell you based upon religious discrimination.”
“Writing Offer Letters Isn’t Illegal”
Another Redditor questioned OP and asked, “Writing letters to buy a house isn’t illegal, it’s what a lot of people do nowadays since it’s such a tough market. How do you know everything was the same in your “winning offer”?”
Our Offer Was Clearly the Best
As a reply, OP wrote, “The selling agent told our realtor the terms of the other offer. We were cash, they were traditional financing. Our offer was clearly the best, and the selling agent acknowledged that, possibly in writing.”
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dean Drobot. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.