WASHINGTON LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION
The right to be free from discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, honorably discharged veteran or marital status, sexual orientation, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability is recognized as and declared to be a civil right in the State of Washington. RCW 49.60.030(1) (emphasis added). This right includes, but is not limited to the right to engage in real estate transactions without discrimination, including discrimination against families with children. RCW 49.60.030(1)(c) (emphasis added).
WLAD enumerates unfair practices in relation to real estate transactions under RCW 49.60.222 as follows:
(1) It is an unfair practice for any person, whether acting for himself, herself, or another, because of sex, marital status, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, national origin, families with children status, honorably discharged veteran or military status, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability:
(a) To refuse to engage in a real estate transaction with a person;
(b) To discriminate against a person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of a real estate transaction or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection therewith;
(c) To refuse to receive or to fail to transmit a bona fide offer to engage in a real estate transaction from a person;
(d) To refuse to negotiate for a real estate transaction with a person;
(e) To represent to a person that real property is not available for inspection, sale, rental, or lease when in fact it is so available, or to fail to bring a property listing to his or her attention, or to refuse to permit the person to inspect real property;
(f) To discriminate in the sale or rental, or to otherwise make unavailable or deny a dwelling, to any person; or to a person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is sold, rented, or made available; or to any person associated with the person buying or renting;
(g) To make, print, circulate, post, or mail, or cause to be so made or published a statement, advertisement, or sign, or to use a form of application for a real estate transaction, or to make a record or inquiry in connection with a prospective real estate transaction, which indicates, directly or indirectly, an intent to make a limitation, specification, or discrimination with respect thereto;
(h) To offer, solicit, accept, use, or retain a listing of real property with the understanding that a person may be discriminated against in a real estate transaction or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection therewith;
(i) To expel a person from occupancy of real property;
(j) To discriminate in the course of negotiating, executing, or financing a real estate transaction whether by mortgage, deed of trust, contract, or other instrument imposing a lien or other security in real property, or in negotiating or executing any item or service related thereto including issuance of title insurance, mortgage insurance, loan guarantee, or other aspect of the transaction. Nothing in this section shall limit the effect of RCW 49.60.176 relating to unfair practices in credit transactions; or
(k) To attempt to do any of the unfair practices defined in this section.
Id. (emphasis added). Keep in mind that there several are exceptions. See RCW 49.60.222(3)-(7).
Any person deeming himself or herself injured by any act amounting to this unfair practice shall have a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin further violations, or to recover the actual damages sustained by the person, or both, together with the cost of suit including reasonable attorneys’ fees or any other appropriate remedy authorized by this chapter or the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, or the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 3601 et seq.). See RCW §49.60.030(2).
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