The Importance of Fair Housing and Why You Have Take it Seriously
This is not the first time we’ve heard of the word “discrimination.” While this daunting offense is oftenly overlooked, it could pose some very serious legal issues at certain instances. Perhaps one of these instances is when you’re a rental property owner.
As a responsible landlord/property manager, you have to be in compliance with the Fair Housing Act. And one of the most common offenses committed against this guideline is discrimination. You have to treat all people interested of your property fairly, and scrutinize them accordingly with viable reasons. You have to accommodate them fairly regardless of nationality, origin or color. Also, don’t discriminate families with children. Incidents like this are rather common and there are laws protecting these kinds of tenants. Moreover, the property information that you have to give out is something that has to be standard and cannot vary from person to person. It would be a good move to attach housing guidelines and standards, as well as the terms and conditions along with the rental application.
It’s also part of being responsible to explain your terms carefully, and their corresponding restrictions. For example, state how many people are allowed live in a unit, as proportionate to the number of people the property can actually accommodate. This is in fulfillment with several occupancy codes so you shouldn’t be awkward to push this.
It is also practical to have the rental application forms reviewed by a lawyer before handing them over to interested tenants. This might sound a bit of hassle but it will be on your side as legal proof in case of disputes, or grounds to call the attention of your tenant in case they are causing unpleasant sensations around the neighborhood. Moreover, they are the basis of whether you’re going to accept a tenant or not. Your opinion is not a fact, and should you reject an applicant based on your personal opinion alone, you’ll be subject to trial in court.
In the event of initial phone call, provide a comprehensive overview of the basic information of the property such as amenities, location, rent, size, and beyond if possible to give lessees an all-out satisfaction.
While occupancy standards may vary from country to country or state to state, one rule will always be universal –common sense. You can’t fit in 5 people in a small bed room. Why? Go figure.