Tip of the Month - December, 2016
AVOIDING ILLEGAL DISCRIMINATION
Source: Leases & rental Agreements-2nd Edition
By: Maria Stewart & Attorney Ralph Warner & Janet Portman
state anti-discrimination laws limit what you can say and do in the
tenant selection process. Basically, you need to keep in mind
three important points.
1-You are legally free to choose among prospective tenants as long as
you decisions are based on legitimate business criteria. You are
entitled to reject people for the following reasons:
A-poor credit history
B-income that you reasonably regard as insufficient to pay the rent.
C-negative references from previous landlords indicating problems-such
as property damage or consistently late rent payments-could make
someone a bad risk.
D-convictions for criminal offenses. (see remarks)
E-inability to meet the legal terms of a lease or rental agreement,
such as someone who can’t come up with the security deposit or who
wants to keep a pet and your policy is no pets OR
F-more people that you want to live in the unit-assuming that your
limit on the number of tenants is clearly tied to health and safety or
legitimate business needs.
2-Antidiscrimination laws specify clearly illegal reasons to refuse to
rent to a tenant. The federal Fair Housing Act. (42U.S.Code~3601-3619)
prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or color, religion,
national origin, gender, age, familial status (children) and physical
or mental disability (including recovering alcoholics and people with a
past drug addiction) Many states and cities also prohibit
discrimination based on marital status or sexual orientation.
This web page was updated on 11/29/2016.