While there is a long list of responsibilities to comply with as a landlord, none are more important than working within the rules set forth by the U.S. Fair Housing Act. This Act protects people from being discriminated against when they are renting or purchasing a home (as well as when they are involved in various other housing activities, such as obtaining a home mortgage).
Based on the Fair Housing Act, home sellers and landlords may not discriminate in these housing related matters based on a potential tenant’s (or purchaser’s):
- National Origin
- Family Status
So, what exactly qualifies as housing related discrimination?
Some of the most common acts include refusing to rent or sell a home, refusing to negotiate for housing, making housing unavailable, imposing different sale or monthly rent prices, setting different terms and conditions for the sale or rental of a home, and / or providing an individual with different housing facilities or services.
In addition, if a tenant does feel that they were discriminated against – and they file a fair housing complaint and / or assist in a fair housing investigation – it is also illegal for you to retaliate against that person.
So, on top of your duties of marketing and managing your rental properties, it can be somewhat time consuming to learn and understand what is and is not acceptable under the law. One way to ensure that your real estate investments are running smoothly – without you taking time away from your schedule – is to work with an experienced property manager.
A good property management team will not only market and screen tenants, collect rent, and respond to property maintenance needs, but they will also fully comply with the law. For more information on how the right property manager can benefit you, give us a call today.