• Tue. Jun 21st, 2022

California’s new law tackles prejudice in real estate valuations

Real estate appraisers are now under scrutiny as the state continues its efforts to tackle racism and prejudice in real estate transactions. Assembly Bill (AB) 948 attacks the issue from both sides of the assessment process: during the complaint process which can take place after an assessment and pre-assessment, with additional training added to the assessment of licensees continuing education requirements.

As of January 1, 2022, the Office of Real Estate Appraisers (BREA) should include a checkbox in their existing complaint form, asking the complainant if they think the assessment is below market value. Additionally, complainants will have the option to include their demographic information on the form. BREA will need to review this demographic information and provide a report of its findings to the state legislature by July 1, 2024.

To prevent discrimination During the assessment process, licensees are prohibited from basing their assessment on the basis of:

  • race;
  • Color;
  • religion;
  • genre;
  • gender expression;
  • age;
  • national origin;
  • disability;
  • civil status;
  • source of income;
  • sexual orientation;
  • family status;
  • employment status; Where
  • military status.

This applies to everyone who may be present or affected by the assessment, including potential or current owners of the property, tenants or occupants of neighboring properties.

The new continuing education requirements begin on January 1, 2023. One hour of cultural competence instruction will be required every four years, along with two hours of prejudice removal training.

Associated article:

Reminder on brokerage: continuing education – Let’s go!

As of July 1, 2022, each purchase contract and refinancing contract for a single-family residence (SFR) shall contain a notice that any assessment must be impartial, objective and not influenced by inappropriate or illegal considerations. The notice will also indicate how the customer can report a complaint when they believe their rating has been influenced by bias.

Homes are the biggest investment most people will make in their life, making them most people’s greatest asset. This new law is also accompanied by another similar law which will soon require California Real Estate Licensees to take anti-bias training.

It is essential that preventive measures are taken to ensure that the appraisal process does not reinforce inequality in home values ​​or mortgage conditions on the basis of prejudices – intentional or not. This bill, with the amendments, makes illegal any form of valuation of residential real estate that discriminates against any person for the reasons listed above.

To make a formal complaint, visit the BREA website and download the complaint form.