The Malibu Association of Realtors(r) has received several calls from the community concerning the letter to the editor regarding residential care facilities in Malibu. It has saddened many of us, deeply, that some in the community would think that Realtors, who are abiding by very strict statutes regarding these facilities, would somehow be “hiding behind the law.” We are bound by Federal law (the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. and the Americans with Disabilities Act) and California Law, which includes a multitude of statutes, too numerous to mention here. Anyone who would like a copy of the California Association of Realtors(r) paper “Disclosure Issues Related to Residential Care Facilities and Day Care Homes” may call 310.317.9328-leave your name and fax number.
A real estate broker does not have the luxury of tailoring a listing agreement to prevent a care facility or any group protected by the laws of discrimination to view a property or to not present an offer to a client. Any effort on the part of a broker to draft an amendment to circumvent a state or federal law designed to protect the rights of these individuals/care facilities could result in the suspension or removal of a broker’s license, as well as subject themselves and their sellers to discrimination lawsuits.
Malibu Realtors are also Malibu homeowners who share some of the same concerns, especially with regard to the number of care facilities, increased traffic and overburdened septic systems. Realtors are put in a difficult position in addressing the issue.
There are agency laws (per civil code 2079.13 to 2079.24) outlining the relationships Realtors are instructed to maintain with principals in a transaction. These duties include care, honesty and loyalty in dealing with both the Buyer and Seller in a transaction. They do not promote communication with others outside of a particular transaction and are designed to protect the rights and interests of the principals in a transaction.
These attacks against Realtors are misdirected. Those concerned need to focus their attention and actions towards the legislative arena to address the situation, which clearly has become an issue within the community.
President of Malibu Association of Realtors