Fred Griffin: Cease & Desist! You are in Violation of the Fair Housing Act for saying, "Retirement"!

Cease & Desist! You are in Violation of the Fair Housing Act for saying, "Retirement"!

This MLS has gone way too Politically Correct!  They cited a Realtor for using the term, "Retirement", calling it "Potentially Offensive".  This MLS Committee enforces an unbelievably asinine list of Banned Words that will have you shaking your head in disbelief!


The other day, I was notified by our local MLS that a word I had used in the marketing remarks of a new listing was potentially offensive, and was in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

The word was 'retirement.'

Here's the notice I received:

"Attached, please find a print out of a listing or listings from your office that NWMLS has found to contain one or more potentially offensive references that may violate the Fair Housing Act . The word(s) have been deleted from your listing(s).

The potentially offensive word(s) are noted on the print out for your information. NWMLS searches for the following terms which may, if used in a certain context, be considered in violation. (This list is for example only, to help you understand the types of potentially offensive words your agents should avoid)

Age, Amen, Arab, God, godly, Man, Men, Able bodied, Adult, African, Agile, AIDS ,alcoholic, American, Ancestry, Asian, Bachelor, Black, 'Blind, Board approval, Buddhist, Catholic, Caucasian, Chicana, Chicano, Child, Chinese, Christian, Church, Citizen, Colored, Congregation, Couple, Cripple, Deaf, Disability, Disabled, Drinkers, Elderly, Employed, Empty nesters, English, Ethnic, Exclusive, Executive, Families, Family, Female, Filipino, Foreign, Gay, Gender, Gentleman, Girl, Golden, Grandmas, Guy, Handicap, Healthy, Heterosexual, Hindu, Hispanic, HIV, Homosexual, Hungarian, Immigrant, Impaired, Independent, Indian, Integrated, Interracial, Irish, Italian, Jew, Job, Kid, Lady, Latina, Latino, Lesbian, Male, Marital status, Married, Mature, Membership, Mentally, Mexican, Migrant, Minority, Mormon, Mosque, Muslim, Nationality, Negro, Newlyweds, No children, No play area, Older person, One person, Oriental, Parish, Perfect for two, Physically fit, Polish, Prestigious, Private, Professional, Protestant, Public, assistance, Puerto Rican, Race, Religion, Religious, Restricted, Restriction, Retarded, Retired, Retirees, Saint, Seasonal Worker, Section 8, Senior, Sexual, Shrine, Single, Smoker, Social, Security, Spanish, Straight, Student, Synagogue, Temple, Traditional, Two people. Unemployed, Wheelchair, White, Woman, Women, Working, Young, Youth.

Our MLS still accepts and uses the term 'Family Room.' I'm surprised that hasn't been shot down yet as being highly offensive.

Master Suite is soon to be an extinct term, replaced by 'Owner's Suite.' Unless of course you're a renter/tenant, then you might find it offensive.

Some women have suggested 'Mistress Suite' is a good fall back. His and Hers is most definitely out, substituted by 'dual' or 'theirs and ours.'

It seems as though we're becoming too politically correct for our own good. Before too long, the only descriptive language will be allowed to use for promoting our listings is 'residential dwelling unit available for acquisition.'

A recent article over on Agent Genius expands this topic nicely.


Follow KitsapAgent on TwitterFriend Rich Jacobson on FacebookJoin Rich Jacobson's LinkedIn NetworkSubcribe to Rich Jacobson's YouTube ChannelListen to My Sweet Tunes on


Frederick Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker    850-545-1901


Tallahassee Florida Metropolitan Area

Exclusive Representation for Buyers and Sellers 

Call Fred  850-545-1901


 Realtor logo       HUD Logo Fair Housing




Frederick Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker    850-545-1901


Disclaimer:  Nothing in the above blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.


Comment balloon 5 commentsFred Griffin • May 14 2013 03:21PM


Wow, What a list. Most are understandable but a few are ridiculous. As you say we are going to have to come up with a whole new set of adjectives for them to ban.

Posted by Helen and Larry Prier- Re-Max Gateway - Residential Real Estate, Anacortes & surrounding Skagit & Island Counties (RE-MAX Gateway- Residential Real Estate Sales) over 5 years ago

Shut the front door!  Are they really serious!  Oh, I understand ethnic and racial stuff, but retirement?  The town I live in is probably 50% retirees, and there are tons of 55+ communities.  In fact, we are required by most of the HOA;s to have a 55+ Community sign rider on our real estate sign.  Wow!

Posted by Jean Hanley, Specializing in Folks Who Want To Buy/Sell Homes (Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters) over 5 years ago

Hey, Fred! Thanks for the re-post!....yeah, I've been flagged three times now - for using the terms 'family reunion,' 'retirement,' and 'his & hers.'

Such fun!

Posted by Rich Jacobson, Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker (Fathom Realty West Sound) over 5 years ago

Of all the dumb-assed things.  Give a committee a little power and they can get quite abusive.  It is ok to be offended.  Most of us get offended on a semi-regular basis.  Usually, it has something to do with some other dumb-assed thing these committees come up with.  When will it just get down to common sense and we can just speak plain English again?

Posted by Roger Stensland, Let's Move! (The Cascade Team Real Estate) over 5 years ago

I agree that this is way over the top. Thank you for sharing and reminding us how careful we have to be.

Posted by Lisa Friedman, 29 Years of Real Estate Experience! (Great American Dream Realty) over 5 years ago