Sellers BEWARE of possible Fair Housing Act and Privacy Laws Violations if you have a Smart Home System, Nanny Cam, or a Security Camera System.
The seven classes protected under the Federal Fair Housing Act are:
Familial Status (i.e., having children under 18 in a household, including pregnant women)
Let’s imagine a buyer tours your home, submits an offer to purchase, and you reject their offer. If the buyer believes the offer was rejected due to one of the 7 classes protected under the FFHA because your security camera captured photos/videos of them that exposed their identity (color, disability, familial status, race, religion and sex), the buyer could file a complaint with HUD.
This is today’s reality and as a Seller, you need to understand Privacy laws and how to prevent potential discrimination claims.
If you have a security system (includes smart technology, Nanny cams, other security devices), you will need to disclose this within your listing agreement. To avoid Privacy Laws violation claims, always let potential buyers and their agent know they could be recorded on a security device.
When presented with an offer, make sure you identify the reason why you rejected the offer. Never ignore a written offer. Always counter or reject an offer in writing. Even in multiple offer situations, always reject an offer in writing to avoid possible Bias claims.