What is Fair Housing? Fair housing requirements are some of the most complex standards in rental housing, and it’s easy for landlords to get into trouble with these laws without intending to. If you aren’t using professional Long Beach Property Management, make sure you understand the federal and local fair housing laws that apply to you, otherwise you could face expensive fines and lawsuits.
Fair housing laws protect classes of people who have been subject to discrimination in the past. They prevent you from denying housing or treating tenants differently because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability or familial status.
Fair Housing and Marketing
You may not think it’s possible to discriminate against people just by advertising your rental home, but it is. Be careful with your wording and don’t make it sound like you’re trying to attract specific groups of people. When you’re describing a neighborhood and the house, be specific only about the things that would attract everyone. For example, say your property has a “spacious yard” rather than a “yard that’s great for children.” You don’t want to say an apartment would be “great for retirees.” Stay away from descriptions geared towards age, familial status and other fair housing categories.
Fair Housing and Screening
Screen every application consistently. You need a set of written rental criteria that explains exactly what is required in order for a tenant to get approved for your property. Provide all potential applicants with your rental criteria so they know what you’re looking for before they apply. If you screen one tenant differently than another, you can be accused of discrimination. Each prospective tenant needs to be held to the same consistent standards.
There is a lot of information available to landlords about fair housing laws and how to stay compliant with them. We are experienced with these laws and consistently stay up to date with fair housing cases and best practices. If you’d like to hear more, please contact us at CMC Realty & Property Management in Long Beach, CA.