City of Williston, ND
Williams County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 562, Art. I, § 1, 1-1-1981]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Fair Housing Ordinance of Williston, North Dakota.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. I, § 2, 1-1-1981]
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the city and the purpose of this chapter, in the exercise of its police and regulatory safety and welfare of the persons in and residing in the city, and for the maintenance and promotion of commerce, industry, and good government in Williston, to secure all persons living and/or working or desiring to live and/or work in the city a fair opportunity to purchase, lease, rent, or occupy real estate without discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, physical limitations, source of income, family responsibilities, educational association, sexual orientation, or national origin.
This chapter shall be construed according to the fair import of its terms and shall be liberally construed to further the purposes and policy stated in Section 7.5-2 and the special purposes of the particular provision involved.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. I, § 4, 1-1-1981]
For the purposes of this chapter:
AGE
Chronological age.
BOARD
The fair housing board.
CITY COMMISSION
The city commission of Williston.
EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION
The fact of being enrolled or not being enrolled at any educational institution.
FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES
The state of being or the potential to become a contributor to the support of an individual or individuals in a dependent relationship.
LEASE
Includes sublease, assignment and rental, and includes any contract to do any of the foregoing.
LENDING INSTITUTION
Any bank, insurance company, savings and loan association, or any other person in the business of lending money or guaranteeing loans, any person of obtaining, arranging, or negotiating loans or guarantees as agent or broker and any person in the business of buying or selling loans or instruments for the payment of money which are secured by title to or a security interest in real estate.
MARTIAL STATUS
The state of being married, unmarried, divorced or widowed.
NATIONAL ORIGIN
Includes the national origin of an ancestor.
OWNER
Any person who holds legal or equitable title to, owns any beneficial interest in any real property, or who holds legal or equitable title to shares of, or who holds any beneficial interest in any real estate cooperative which owns any real property.
PANEL
A panel comprised of three or more members of the board, designated by the chairman of the board, to investigate and to attempt to conciliate a complaint filed or made under Section 7.5-18 of this chapter.
PERSON
Includes one or more individuals, corporations, partnerships, associations, legal representatives, mutual companies, unincorporated organizations, trusts, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy, receivers and fiduciaries.
PHYSICAL LIMITATION
A limitation of physical capabilities unrelated to one's ability to safely perform the work involved in jobs or positions available to such person for hire or promotion or a limitation of physical capabilities unrelated to one's ability to acquire, rent and maintain property. Physical limitation includes, but is not limited to, blindness or partial sightedness, deafness or hearing impairment, muteness, partial or total absence of physical member, speech impairment and motor impairment.
PURCHASE
Includes any contract to purchase.
REAL ESTATE AGENT
Any real estate broker, any real estate salesman and any other person who, as employee or agent or otherwise, engages in the management or operation of any real property.
REAL ESTATE BROKER
Any person licensed as a real estate broker in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 43.23, North Dakota Century Code or required thereby to be so licensed.
REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION
The purchase, sale, exchange, rental or lease of any real property or an option to do any of the foregoing.
REAL PROPERTY
Any real estate, vacant land, building, or structure, or any part thereof, within the city limits.
SALE
Includes any contract to sell, exchange, or to convey, transfer, or assign legal or equitable title to or a beneficial interest in real property.
SEXUAL ORIENTATION
Any male or female homosexuality, heterosexuality or bisexuality, by preference or practice.
SOURCE OF INCOME
Any legal source from which a person obtains money.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. II, § 5, 1-1-1981]
It shall be an unlawful housing practice and a violation of this chapter for any real estate broker, salesman, agent, owner, or other person to sell or rent, or offer to sell or rent a real property on terms, conditions, or privileges that discriminate between persons because of race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, physical limitations, source of income, family responsibilities, educational association, sexual orientation or national origin.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. II, § 6, 1-1-1981]
It shall be an unlawful real estate practice and a violation of this chapter for any real estate broker, salesman, agent, owner or other person to refuse to negotiate for, enter into, or perform any sale or lease of any real property because of the race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, physical limitations, source of income, family responsibilities, educational association, sexual orientation, or natural origin.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. II, § 7, 1-1-1981]
It shall be an unlawful real estate practice and a violation of this chapter for any real estate broker, salesman, agent, owner, or other person to represent to any person that any real property is not available for inspection, purchase, sale, lease, or occupancy when in fact it is so available for inspection, purchase, sale, lease, or occupancy because of race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, physical limitations, source of income, family responsibilities, educational association, sexual orientation, or national origin of the person.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. II, § 8, 1-1-1981]
It shall be an unlawful real estate practice and a violation of this chapter for any real estate broker, salesman, agent, owner, or other person to publish or circulate a statement, advertisement or notice or to post or erect any sign or notice upon any real property indicating any intent to sell or lease any real property in a manner that is unlawful under this article.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. II, § 9, 1-1-1981]
It shall be unlawful real estate practice and a violation of this chapter for any real estate broker, salesman, agent or other person to refuse to receive or to fail to transmit a bonafide offer for the purchase, sale, exchange, or lease of any real property because of the race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, physical limitations, source of income, family responsibilities, educational association, sexual orientation, or national origin of person making such offer.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. III, § 10, 1-1-1981]
It shall be an unlawful real estate practice and a violation of this chapter for any lending institution to refuse to negotiate for, enter into, or perform any agreement to lend or guarantee the loan of funds or in making, agreeing to make, arranging or negotiating any loan or guarantee of funds for the purpose of financing the purchase or sale, construction, lease, rehabilitation, improvement, renovation, or repair of any real property, or to offer or agree to terms, conditions, or privileges that discriminate between persons because of race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, physical limitations, source of income, family responsibilities, educational association, sexual orientation, or national origin of any party to such agreement, or of any member of the family of any such party or of the residents of the area in which such real property is located.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. III, § 11, 1-1-1981]
Every real estate broker shall apply for and obtain a license from the North Dakota Real Estate Commission prior to transacting any business involving real estate as a real estate broker and prior to advertising or assuming to act as such real estate broker, as provided for under North Dakota Century Code 43.23.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. IV, § 12, 1-1-1981]
(a) 
It shall be an unlawful real estate practice and a violation of this chapter for any real estate broker, salesman, agent, owner, or other person, for the purpose of inducing any other person to enter into a real estate transaction with such person, his principal, or his agent, to:
(1) 
Represent that a change has occurred, will occur, or may occur with respect to race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, physical limitations, source of income, family responsibilities, educational association, sexual orientation, or national origin in the composition of the owners or occupants in any block, neighborhood, or area in which the real property (which is the subject of the real estate transaction) is located or
(2) 
Represent that a change with respect to the race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, physical limitations, source of income, family responsibilities, educational association, sexual orientation, or national origin in the composition of the owners or occupants in any block, neighborhood, or area will result in the lowering of property values, or in an increase in criminal or antisocial behavior, or in a decline in the quality of schools in such blocks, neighborhood, or area.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. IV, § 13, 1-1-1981]
(a) 
It shall be an unlawful real estate practice and a violation of this chapter for any real estate broker, salesman, agent, owner, or any other person:
(1) 
To aid, abet, incite, or coerce a person to commit an unlawful real estate practice under this chapter.
(2) 
To purchase, lease, or rent real estate for residential purposes, or authorize and direct one in his employment or on his behalf to do so, or solicit any other person to do so on this behalf for the specific reason and intention of preventing any other person or persons from purchasing, renting, leasing, or occupying such residential real estate by reason of the race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, physical limitations, source of income, family responsibilities, educational association, sexual orientation, or national origin of such person or persons.
(3) 
To deliberately and knowingly refuse examination of copies of any listing of real property in Williston to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, physical limitations, source of income, family responsibilities, educational association, sexual orientation, or national origin.
(4) 
To enter into a listing agreement which prohibits the inspection, sale, lease, or occupancy of real property to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, physical limitations, source of income, family responsibilities, educational association, sexual orientation, or national origin.
(5) 
To knowingly and willfully interfere with the performance of a duty or the exercise of a power by the board or one of its members or representatives.
(6) 
To willfully obstruct or prevent or attempt to obstruct or prevent a person from complying with the provisions of this chapter or an order issued thereunder.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. V, § 14, 1-1-1981]
There is hereby created a fair housing board which shall consist of five members as hereinafter provided.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. V, § 15, 1-1-1981]
All five members of the board shall be appointed from the community at large and shall be citizens who are willing to expend the time and effort necessary to carry out the duties of the board.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. V, § 16, 1-1-1981]
Members shall be appointed by the mayor subject to the approval of the city council. In the first instance, three members shall be appointed for a term of three years, one for a term of two years, and one for a term of one year. Thereafter, each member appointed shall serve for a term of three years or until his successor is duly appointed and qualified. The board shall elect one of its members to be its chairman. Three members shall constitute a quorum, but the concurrence of the majority of the entire board (obtained either at a meeting of the board or in a poll conducted by the chairman) shall be necessary for board action.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. V, § 17, 1-1-1981]
(a) 
The board shall have and exercise the following duties and powers:
(1) 
To act to eliminate unlawful real estate practices that violate this chapter.
(2) 
To act to assure to persons living, working, or desiring to live in the city, the opportunity to purchase, lease or occupy real property without discrimination because of race, color, religion, age, sex, marital status, physical limitations, source of income, family responsibilities, educational association, sexual orientation, or national origin.
(3) 
To receive and investigate complaints alleging unlawful real estate practices in violation of this chapter.
(4) 
To attempt elimination of unfair real estate practices by conciliation, conference and/or persuasion.
(5) 
To hold public hearings in the event that its efforts under paragraph (4) above are ineffective or where it seems that such efforts will be ineffective.
(6) 
To instruct the city attorney to commence appropriate court action against those the board has found to be in violation of this chapter.
(7) 
To recommend to the North Dakota Real Estate Commission suspension and/or revocation of licenses of real estate brokers in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.
(8) 
To render from time to time but not less than every 12 months, a written report to the city council of its activities and recommendations with respect to fair real estate practices, which written reports shall be made public after submission to the city council.
(9) 
To exercise such other powers as are vested in the board by other sections of this chapter and to adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. V, § 18, 1-1-1981]
(a) 
Any person aggrieved in any manner of any violation of any provision of this chapter may file with the board a written verified complaint setting forth his grievance. The complaint shall state:
(1) 
The name and address of the complainant;
(2) 
The name and address of the person against whom the complaint is brought, if known to the complainant;
(3) 
The alleged facts surrounding the alleged violation of this chapter;
(4) 
The names and addresses of all persons believed to have knowledge concerning the alleged facts.
(b) 
After the filing of any complaint, the board shall serve a copy of the complaint on the party or parties charged and the chairman of the board shall designate a panel, as defined in Section 7.5-4 of this chapter, to make a prompt investigation in connection therewith.
(c) 
If such panel shall determine after such investigation that probable cause exists for the allegations of the complaint:
(1) 
The chairman of the board shall set a time and date for a conference with the board; said conference shall be private.
(2) 
At such conference, the board shall interview the complainant and the person or persons against whom the complaint has been directed and shall attempt to resolve the complaint by all proper methods of conciliation and persuasion.
(d) 
If, at any time after the date of filing of the complaint, the board shall determine that such attempt at conciliation and persuasion would not be in furtherance of the objectives of this chapter, the board shall thereupon proceed promptly to a full hearing on the complaint in accordance with Section 7.5-19 below.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. V, § 19, 1-1-1981]
Such hearings shall be conducted by the entire board or a quorum thereof upon 10 days' notice to all parties. The board shall not be bound by the strict rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity.
The board shall have power to administer oaths and to take sworn testimony. The board shall have the power to subpoena witness and pertinent documents, which power may be enforced by the board by proper petition to the district court of the county where the complainant resides. The complainant and any party alleged to have violated this chapter shall be entitled to be represented by counsel and shall have the right to call witnesses on his own behalf and to cross-examine witnesses.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. V, § 20, 1-1-1981]
(a) 
If, upon all the evidence at the hearing, the board finds that the person complained of has violated any of the provisions of this chapter, the board shall state its findings of fact and shall issue and cause to be served upon such person, an order requiring such person to cease and desist from such violation, and to take such affirmative or other action as, in the judgment of the board, will effectuate the purpose of this chapter, including a report of the manner of compliance.
(b) 
If, upon all the evidence at the hearing, the board finds that the person complained of has not violated any of the provisions of this chapter, the board shall state its findings of the fact and shall issue and cause to be served upon the complainant an order dismissing the complaints.
(c) 
The board shall retain jurisdiction of the case until it is satisfied the person to whom the order was directed has complied. The order of the board and its findings of fact shall be issued within 30 days after the filing of the complaint and shall be delivered to the complainant, the person charged, and the mayor of the city.
(d) 
The board shall be empowered at the conclusion of the proceedings held under Section 7.5-19 to instruct the city attorney to do any one or more of the following:
(1) 
To institute and prosecute proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction to enforce against any person found in violation of this chapter the fine provided for in Section 7.5-25.
(2) 
To apply to any court of competent jurisdiction for:
a. 
An order restraining any person from violating any provision of this chapter.
b. 
Such other future relief as may seem to the court appropriate for the enforcement of this chapter and for the elimination of violations hereof.
(3) 
To petition or institute proceedings with the North Dakota Real Estate Commission for the purpose of causing the commission to revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew the license granted by such commission to any real estate broker or real estate salesman found to have violated any provision of this chapter.
(e) 
The board is also empowered at the conclusion of such proceedings to recommend to the North Dakota Real Estate Commission suspension and/or revocation of the broker's license of any broker licensed by the North Dakota Real Estate Commission against whom a complaint shall have been filed and who shall have been a party to any proceedings thus filed and found guilty of violating any applicable provision of this chapter.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. V, § 21, 1-1-1981]
Any complaint filed hereunder with the board must be filed within 60 days after the alleged discriminatory practice occurred or it shall be barred.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. VI, § 22, 1-1-1981]
(a) 
Any person aggrieved in any manner by the violation of any provision of this chapter who has exhausted the remedies provided in sections 7.5-18 and 7.5-19 of this chapter may apply to any court of competent jurisdiction for appropriate relief from such violation, including:
(1) 
An order compelling compliance with this chapter;
(2) 
An order to prohibit any person found by the court to have violated any provision of this chapter from the sale, lease, exchange, transfer, conveyance, or assignment of any dwelling or housing which is the subject of such violation;
(3) 
An order requiring specific performance of any contract for the sale, lease, exchange, transfer, conveyance, or assignment of any dwelling or housing, by any person who in violation of this chapter refuses or fails to perform such contract;
(4) 
Compensatory damages and, if appropriate, punative damages;
(5) 
Such other and further relief as may seem appropriate to the court for the enforcement of this chapter and the elimination of violations thereof.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. VI, § 23, 1-1-1981]
Any complainant under this chapter may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for an order temporarily prohibiting any transaction affecting the real property which is the subject of the complainant's pending complaint under this chapter prior to final determination by the board where the owner of said property is one of the parties complained of.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. VI, § 24, 1-1-1981]
Any party, complainant, or person aggrieved by an order of the board shall have the right to obtain judicial review of such order.
[Ord. No. 562, Art. VII, § 25, 1-1-1981]
Any person violating any provision of this chapter may, in addition to revocation or suspension of the license herein required or in there of, be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500 for each offense.