Fair Housing rules codify the laws that Gastonia property management and landowners need to follow while choosing tenants. When it comes to the tenant selection process, there are clear rules that say what can be done and what cannot. Here are a few best practices that will help landowners and property managers choose the best tenants without falling foul of the fair housing laws and rules.
- Conduct a Credit Check
Running a credit check is not an expensive affair. For a nominal fee, you will be able to run a potential tenant’s credit reports to understand whether or not they will be a fantastic bet for your rental property.
- Calling References
Most potential tenants provide references when they apply for tenancy. If they have not, landlords and Gastonia property management may ask for references. It is prudent to call these references and verify pertinent information about the tenant. If one of the references is a previous landlord, speaking to them might give insight into what kind of tenant the applicant is.
- Know the Fair Housing Rules
Understanding the importance of fair housing rules is not enough, you need to know how they apply to you. According to the laws, there are many illegal reasons for refusing tenancy. Under the Federal Fair Housing Acts, you may not discriminate against tenants on the basis of race, nationality, religion, age, gender, disability, past addictions, and familial status. Furthermore, it is important to know the fair housing rules that are upheld by your city and state. For example, some states consider discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal, while others don’t.
- Follow the Rules You Set
Consistency is an important word when it comes to choosing tenants. It has to be followed both ways. For example, it is important that you follow a consistent pattern when screening tenants. If you choose to check credit reports or call references, ensure that you follow the same procedure for applicants of all races, marital status and ages. Treating tenants equally is essential. You may think you are doing a wonderful thing by lowering the security deposit for a single parent, but if you are not doing the same thing for other tenants, they may level a charge of discrimination against you.
Legally, you are free to choose one tenant over the other, as long as your decision is not based on personal reasons but on legitimate business eligibility requisites.