Question: The listing broker has a listing on a home. The listing broker learns that there is a halfway house for recovering alcoholics next door. Can the listing broker disclose the existence of this halfway house to prospective buyers?

Answer: No. The recovering alcoholics in the halfway house are “disabled,” and therefore are members of a protected class under the fair housing laws. See A.R.S. § 41-1491(5). Therefore, the seller and the real estate brokers are prohibited from disclosing the existence of this halfway house, similar to the prohibition against disclosing individuals in the neighborhood of a certain race, religion, sex or any other protected class.

Note: Only recovering alcoholics are a protected class under fair housing laws. Although alcoholics that are not recovering may have a “disability,” the protection of the fair housing laws specifically applies only to recovering alcoholics.

Arizona REALTOR® November 2010