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Federal Laws Affecting Utah Real Estate | Housing Laws, Property Transactions, Land, Condos, Townhouses
Salt Lake City, Utah federal laws regarding real estate transactions. Serving Ogden, South Jordan, Park City to Provo.

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Federal Laws


Summary of Federal Laws Regarding Real Estate Transactions

 Civil Rights Act of 1866

The first significant federal law regarding real estate transactions occurred on April 9, 1866 following the Civil War. This law established the right to own and convey property to all U.S, citizens, stating the following:

  “All citizens of the United States shall have the same right, in every state and territory, as is enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property.”

 This law prohibited discrimination based on race. It was vague and therefore to difficult to enforce.

 Sherman Antitrust Act (1890)

The purpose of the antitrust act is to promote open market competition. In the real estate industry, price fixing can be an area of concern. This law provides that the real estate broker’s compensation is negotiable between the broker and the client. A broker may establish their fees as a percentage amount, a flat fee, or a combination of the two.

 Civil Rights Act of 1968, Title VIII

The second significant federal law regarding discrimination passed 102 years after the original. This act expanded the 1866 law beyond making it unlawful to discriminate based merely on race to include national origin, color, religion and sex. No longer could someone refuse to sell, rent or negotiate to one of these five protected classes. Property owners could not alter the terms of the sale or rental agreement, advertise in a manner to exclude the protected classes or deny them the opportunity to inspect the property.

 Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act--Truth in Lending or Regulation Z (1968)

This act protects consumers in obtaining loans by requiring lenders to disclose the true cost of the credit extended by the lender. Lenders must disclose in writing within 3 business days of application the total dollar amount of the finance charges, the annual percentage rate (APR), the number or payments, the amount of the payments, the timing of the payments and the total payoff amount. Borrowers hold the right of rescission for 3 business days to cancel the loan.

 Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 (ECOA)

This federal law disrupted the practice of lenders from discriminating in the granting of credit on the basis of age or marital status. This act also applied to property managers who discriminated by checking the credit of certain prospective tenants.

 The Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act (RESPA) (1974)

The need to protect consumers from lenders brought this law into existence. It stipulates that the lender must provide within 3-days of the borrowers application for a loan an informational booklet entitled “Settlement Costs and You” and a good faith estimate of the settlement or closing costs. The lender must provide to the borrower upon request the settlement form (HUD 1 form) no later than one business day prior to the date of closing.

 Fair Housing Amendments Act (1988)

This act broadened the protected classes of the Civil Rights Act to include age and the handicapped.

 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (July 6, 1990)

The ADA provides protection to those with disabilities. The act makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone with disabilities. It provides for the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities or privileges of private entities serving the public. This act includes owners, lessors, lessees, and operators of places of public accommodation.

 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—Lead-Based Paint Disclosure (March 6, 1996)

This EPA requirement provides for the disclosure of lead-based paint in residential dwellings built prior to 1978. Infants are attracted to the taste of lead in paint. Chewing on a baseboard or other lead-based painted item can lead to serious health issues for the young. The law requires that prospective home buyers and renters be provided a pamphlet “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home.” Buyers get a 10-day period to conduct an inspection at their own expense if desired to determine if there is lead contamination. The law does not require any testing, removal or abatement on the part of the owner.



This summary is not a replacement for anyone needing legal counsel. We recommend that you seek legal counsel from a licensed attorney.



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 Barry J. Preusz
REALTOR | Residential Specialist

1218 East 7800 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84094

Office: 801-993-0083

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Federal Laws Affecting Utah Real Estate | Housing Laws, Property Transactions, Land, Condos, Townhouses

Salt Lake City, Utah federal laws regarding real estate transactions. Equity Real Estate REALTOR with offices in Farmington, South Jordan, Heber/Park City, Spanish Fork, Sandy, Orem and Provo.

Serving Alpine, Alta, American Fork, Bluffdale, Bountiful, Cedar Hills, Centerville, Cottonwood Heights, Daybreak, Deer Valley, Draper, Eagle Mountain, Emigration Canyon, Farmington, Heber City, Herriman, Highland, Holladay, Kamas, Kearns, Layton, Lehi, Lindon, Magna, Mapleton, Midvale, Midway, Murray, North Ogden, North Salt Lake, Ogden, Orem, Park City, Payson, Pleasant Grove, Provo, Riverton, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Sandy, Saratoga Springs, Snowbird, South Jordan, South Ogden, South Salt Lake, Spanish Fork, Springville, Sundance, Summit County, Taylorsville, Tooele, West Bountiful, West Jordan, West Valley, Woods Cross, Utah County.