Inspired by this question on law.stackexchange, but I think my question fits better on politics.

From this answer, "sales of residence are exempt from the deceptive trade practices provisions of the California Civil Code. California Civil Code § 1754."

From Legislating for the Consumer: An Insider's Analysisof the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (pdf, page number 10, pdf page 11), "The same exemption is found in the Unruh Act 31 and guidance in application may be obtained by examining the legal history of the appropriate section of that statute."

That section was added in 1969, in AB 2101 in response to Morgan v Reasor Corp. But as far as I can tell, this was just to clarify that it also excluded construction.

When I try to search for why sale of buildings and real property were excluded, I get a bunch of results about how the Unruh Act applies to realtors, so I think it might just not apply to private sales by individuals.

Why did the Unruh Act exclude sale of buildings and real property?

  • Welcome to Politics. Nice question and yes, you are right, questions about the why of laws are generally more on-topic here than in Law.
    – SJuan76
    Jan 27, 2022 at 20:08

1 Answer 1


The Unruh act does not attempt to make illegal every interaction between individuals. A law that attempted to prohibit private people from discrimination would run afoul of the first amendment. The Constitution guarantees your right to be wrong! Americans have a constitutional right to hold racist, sexist, homophobic views.

The Unruh act instead only attempts to regulate your interactions with businesses. When you interact with a business you have a right to be treated fairly:

All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language, or immigration status are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.

A property sale is normally a private transaction between two people. The realtor a "business establishment" and is subject to the act. The Seller is not a business establishment and is not subject to the act.

The act doesn't exclude the sale of buildings and properties. But it does exclude private transactions. The Unruh act does not apply to (for example) private sales of automobiles. But it does apply to sales of property by development companies.

  • The remedies of the Unruh Act also contemplate the realities of much smaller transactions than a sale of real estate which in California is routinely over $1,000,000 and aren't really geared to dealing with what justice might be in large dollar transactions.
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 31, 2022 at 21:13

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