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The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits refusing to sell, rent to, or even negotiate with any person because of that person's race, color, religion, sex, familial status, handicap, or national origin. But do those protections against national origin discrimination extend to foreign citizenship? And does a mobile home park's policy of requiring residents to prove they're legal U.S. residents violate the Act?

A recent lawsuit may answer those questions.

Buying a house is not something you'd take lightly. And when you find the perfect home, you want to keep it. But this is life, and things happen. So, if you've agreed to buy a house and change your mind, can you back out? And is there a time limit on your ability to get out of buying a home?

The answer could depend on just how far into the home-buying process you are before you want to reverse course.

Is a Text Message Legally Binding With a Landlord?

The short answer is, it depends. There are times that texting can be legally binding, and times that it cannot.

Tips to Spot a Real Estate Scam

It's a landlord's market these days, with renters scrambling in many cities to find a rental home or apartment that fits their needs and budgets. Demand far outstrips supply in large cities by a ratio of ten to one. If you find something that seems to good to be true, it probably is.

Scam artists are taking advantage of desperate renters with all sorts of intricate schemes. Almost half of today's renters have found fake ads, and over five million have been scammed, often losing thousands of dollars. Look before you leap, or write that check, or wire that deposit money. You don't want to be another notch in this growing statistic.

Getting Evicted in Newark? You Can Get a Free Attorney

Newark, New Jersey is in the midst of a much needed rebirth. A city that has been in decline since the social movement of the 1960s, gentrification is taking root, much like it did in nearby Brooklyn a decade ago. But like most big cities, this comes at a price, one often paid by those that can least afford it.

Buildings all across downtown Newark are being demolished, replaced by mixed use buildings with businesses such as Whole Foods and Chipotle on the ground floor, and upwards of 40 percent of the residential rental units above reserved for low-income housing. In a town where three out of four residents are working class renters, the need for affordable housing far outstrips the supply.

Fortunately, the city plans to offer a free attorney to low-income renters who are getting evicted.

You thought you had the perfect apartment; and then the late-night house parties started upstairs. Or you didn't realize the next-door neighbor's chickens (free eggs!) love to get going promptly at 5 a.m. (free rooster alarm clock!). Or that awesome warehouse loft was just what you wanted when you saw it over the weekend, before you smelled the nearby refinery first thing Monday morning.

Whether it was an unforeseen condition or an unscrupulous landlord, you're already thinking about getting out of your lease. But once you sign on the dotted line, are you locked in for the next six months or *gasp* a whole year?

Don't worry -- there may be ways to get out of your rental lease ... if it's not too late.

Rustic Weddings on Your Property: Zoning, Code Issues

Rustic weddings have been all the rage this past decade, and throngs of people are looking to cash in on the fad, much to the dismay of neighbors who live out in the country for peace and solitude. City Slickers descend on farm communities for a One Night Only event, hoping to wear those designer cowboy boots that looked so cool in the SoHo boutique last year. Any neighbor could handle one or two raging weddings a year when they live in multiple-acre plots. But in what has now become a weekly Fantasy Island event, neighbors are fed up, and are throwing every law possible at rustic wedding venue business, in the hopes of shutting them down.

Here's a look at the zoning and code issues you may encounter when hosting a wedding on your property.

For many travelers, Airbnb has replaced hotels and motels when searching for a place to stay. And for many homeowners and apartment renters, the platform has provided a little extra income. But for municipalities, many of whom regulate short-term rentals both for consumer protection and tax collection, Airbnb's business has been frustratingly impenetrable.

Finally, the Big Apple is going to get access to Airbnb's books. The New York City Council recently passed a new law requiring Airbnb and similar lodging platforms to share data on their users. So, what kind of info is NYC looking for?

New-Home Construction Defects: When Can You Sue the Builder?

After opting for new-home construction so that everything is perfectly new, you may find that everything isn't so perfect. Construction defects are unfortunately a regular occurrence in the building industry, and homeowners can sue for damages. But perhaps the more pressing question isn't can they sue, but when can they sue.

Can You Be Evicted for Having a Messy Apartment?

Beware Messy Marvins, you can be evicted for keeping an unkempt apartment. But before scrambling to pick up your dirty clothes in fear of losing that fantastic rent-controlled apartment, let's take a deeper look into this matter. There's messy, and then there's filthy, and the difference between the two depends on more than just your landlord's attitude.