Sec 8 - Chicago - Protected Class

Asked by Bill J Deligiannis, Naperville, IL Wed Sep 18, 2013

Greetings All,

City of Chicago Rental - Listing Agent directly states that Landlord does not want Sec 8 tenants. Listing Agent explained the process to Landlord, but Landlord doesn't want to deal with it. Sec 8 in Chicago is a protected class.

As an agent representing the Tenant, what can we really do?

There are a multitude of other reasons that the Landlord could use to decline my client, but have the Sec 8 voucher is not one of them.

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Pete Burke, Agent, Schaumburg, IL
Wed Sep 18, 2013
The listing agent does not understand that discrimination is not allowed in any form. All applicants MUST be treated equally and fairly! Because section 8 is a protected class, the listing agent stating that a certain protected class is not welcome is just like saying the members of any other protected class are not welcome. The listing agent or any other agent that advertises that they openly discriminate against a protected class is going to have learn a hard lesson! If the owner insists on discriminating in this way, the agent MUST CANCEL THE LISTING and should not have taken it in the beginning!
2 votes
Manuel Brown, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Sep 24, 2013

A person can be declined for two reasons income and credit. If a client does not meet any one of them the landlord can decline them. Remember income is income.
1 vote
Ivan Sagel, Agent, Chicago, IL
Thu Sep 19, 2013

Make sure they understand the law. You cannot discriminate based on source of income.

Best regards,

Ivan Sagel
1 vote
Akil Walker, Agent, Upper Marlboro, MD
Thu Sep 19, 2013
Hi Bill,

It might be a good idea to reach out to their broker to explain the situation. The message may be better received.

good luck
1 vote
Suzanne Hami…, Agent, Orland Park, IL
Wed Sep 18, 2013
This puts the agent in a bad spot. Techically the agent should immediately terminate the listing. Chances are through the listing agreement, the landlord has already signed that he will not discriminate.

The listing agent can not even say that to you without discriminating.

I would talk to the agent and maybe the managing broker and tell them if they don't get their seller in line, you can report them and the seller to the CHA, the CAR board, etc. and your client has the legal right to bring a discrimination suit.

That agent needs to get their seller to play ball or walk away from the listing. And your client can bring the seller up on charges.
1 vote
Jacqueline S…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Sep 18, 2013
Explain the law to the other agent. They need to educate the landlord of all the legal liability they are opening up for both of them. Call the listing agent's managing broker. They are opening the entire firm up to federal problems.
1 vote
Laurie Chris…, Agent, Oak Park, IL
Wed Sep 18, 2013
Have the tenant file a complaint. This protected class status just went into effect. You may want to educate the listing agent...
1 vote
Korpacz Korp…, Agent, Rolling Meadows, IL
Wed Sep 18, 2013
Per my understanding, owner can not specifically decline application because of the Voucher, however he can decline by not accepting this form of payment... or by poor credit, or not strong employment. Sec 8 pays portion of rent, but tenant is still responsible for paying utility bills.

You might want to show the agent strong side of your tenant and the reason why he should reconsider Sec 8.
1 vote
Andy Ogorzaly, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Sep 18, 2013
I am surprised and not surprised. There is still a lot of discrimination with these vouchers unfortunately. That owner should at least accept an application (using the same criteria and application for other tenants) from your tenant to see if it fits his criteria. And the listing agent should remove themselves from their agreement immediately if it is a fair housing issue.
1 vote
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