Important legal alert: Website accessibility for Illinois brokerage companies

Writen by Betsy Urbance |

Published: April 26, 2021 |

Reading Time: 1 min

Betsy UrbanceElizabeth A. (Betsy) Urbance
General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Services

Recently, it has come to Illinois REALTORS®’ attention that several of its members received form letters from an attorney of the Benjamin Brand LLP law firm suggesting that the recipient’s website is not ADA compliant and thus violates the Fair Housing Act (we don’t believe the FHA applies) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) arguing that websites are a place of public accommodation. Courts are divided on whether a website is a place of public accommodation.

Nevertheless, this letter purports to represent a not-for-profit company standing up for people with sight issues. It suggests that the recipient’s website be brought into compliance with website compatibility guidelines within 14 days. Illinois REALTORS® does support the concept of website accessibility for all and has many resources to assist you in your efforts to make an accessible website.

However, if you have received a letter or receive one in the future, we suggest the following actions:

About the writer: Elizabeth A. (Betsy) Urbance, General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Services has served the association’s members as General Counsel since 2018 and prior to that she was Legal Hotline Attorney since 1994. Urbance is a 1984 graduate of Western Illinois University and received her law degree from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1987. She is licensed in both Illinois and Missouri.

Your Illinois REALTORS® Legal Team