June 1st, 2020 at 12:45 pm

Question: I am the listing agent. The sellers want to allow showings to principal buyers, but not to their under-aged children. Aside from COVID exposure, the sellers are concerned about children potentially breaking or damaging the sellers’ things. Can we restrict access to children? What if one of the sellers has a preexisting health condition that puts them in a COVID high-risk category?  

Answer: As to your first question, the answer is no. It’s not a good idea to prohibit access to children. Prohibiting children from entering a home for sale is likely to be deemed illegal discrimination based on familial status, which is a fair housing violation.

You may be able to placate the sellers a bit by pointing out to them that you will be asking adult buyers to sign C.A.R.’s new Coronavirus Property Entry Advisory – Visitor (PEAD-V) (released May 27, 2020), which specifically requires the buyers to vouch for the safety and conduct of their accompanying minors (see paragraph 7). The PEAD-V also requires the adult buyers to acknowledge and agree that the entry rules apply with equal force to their accompanying minors.

As for your second question, if one of the sellers has an underlying health concern, they can prohibit access to all buyers, for example. It would, however, still be a fair housing concern if the sellers were to only prohibit access to children.

-Thank you to Diane Montgomery, Manager, and Art Camoia (Laguna Niguel Office) for suggesting this week’s legal tip.

Copyright© 2020 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP). All rights reserved. Any unauthorized reproduction or use of this material is strictly prohibited. This information is believed to be accurate as of June 1, 2020. It is not intended as a substitute for legal advice in individual situations, and is not intended to nor does it create a standard of care for real estate professionals.

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