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Do you know fair housing best practices to avoid discrimination claims?

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2020 | Property Law

When deciding on applicants to occupy your vacant units, you, of course, want to choose good candidates. While understandable, take measures to ensure that you do not engage in potentially discriminatory practices. 

To help avoid claims of discrimination and adhere to laws regarding fair housing, see what the American Apartment Owners Association has to say about the matter. Do your part to protect your reputation as a landlord. 

Follow a standard evaluation process 

No matter who submits an application, stick to the same evaluation policy, no matter the applicant’s ethnicity, handicap or religion. Run credit and background checks on everyone, which can provide you with a great deal of peace of mind. Additionally, ask all applicants the same set of questions when determining overall eligibility. 

Remain neutral when advertising 

Focus more on the unit, amenities, neighborhood and the like when advertising. That is, do not mention what type of tenant you desire in your marketing materials. It is during the vetting phase when you concentrate on applicants and their qualifications. 

Train your staff members  

Anyone else whom tenants and applicants interact with should know about laws and regulations regarding the Fair Housing Act. Poorly trained or misinformed employees could open you to a lawsuit or a damaged professional reputation. 

Offer everyone the same options 

Do not make decisions for applicants regarding amenities, units or anything similar, as this could come across as a form of discrimination. For instance, do not recommend a ground floor unit for a family because you think that young children on a second or higher floor make a lot of noise for tenants below them. 

You must tread carefully when renting available units. A seemingly simple oversight could result in a serious legal situation.