Email Dave Email
Residential Real Estate
Dec 9, 2015

Fair Housing Has Tremendous Implications For Landlords

Sponsored Content provided by Dave Sweyer - Owner and Broker, Sweyer Property Management

As I mentioned in a previous article, owning rental property can be an effective strategy for building wealth. Navigating federal and state fair housing laws can be extremely complex; it’s critical to have the assistance of a qualified property manager or a comprehensive knowledge of the subject.

The topic of how to avoid a fair housing violation is one of the most complicated subjects that we tackle on a daily basis here at Sweyer Property Management. To write about it fully would require much more space than we have here, but the following is a good foundation.

Fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in the housing market on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, handicap or familial status. To discriminate against a person on the basis of his or her membership in one of these protected categories is against the law.

Here is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions we have received over the years pertaining to fair housing:

  • Are there any words I should avoid in my advertising? In general, a good rule of thumb is to avoid referring to any specific group when advertising a rental property. Stick to the facts instead of mentioning that the home is located “in a quiet family neighborhood” or that it would be “good for a young executive.” This will help you avoid a claim that you are discriminating against other groups.
  • What types of questions can I ask potential residents? The screening of applicants for a rental property has a variety of implications for landlords. Many people call us wondering if it is OK to ask about previous evictions, bankruptcy issues, money judgments or why an individual is leaving his or her current residence. While these questions are usually acceptable, it’s not advisable to ask about a person’s mental disabilities, physical challenges, or history of drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Is it OK to deny an accommodation requested by a disabled tenant? If a disabled tenant asks for an accommodation that places an undue burden on the landlord or simply isn’t reasonable then it is typically permissible to deny the request. The denial of the request must be presented to the tenant in writing and there are many other details that have to be included in the letter. For a detailed consultation about this subject, contact us at the email address below. It’s interesting to note that offering to provide a potential tenant with an accommodation before that person has asked for it could expose a landlord to a fair housing violation.
  • Can I make my tenants acknowledge that they accept the community rules? Having tenants sign that they accept the rules and regulations of the applicable Home Owner’s Association (HOA) is something we encourage. As an example, some HOAs do not allow tenants to have pets or require minimum lease terms. For investors with a multi-unit building, it is permissible to have a set of house rules that apply to parking limitations, noise, sharing of facilities, storage areas, et cetera. As always, local and fair housing laws should be reviewed. The rules pertaining to enforcement and documentation are very detailed. Having a property manager help with enforcement is critical to maintaining a good relationship with your community as a landlord.
The necessity of keeping detailed records as a strategy for avoiding a fair housing violation could be the subject of another entire article. So could the eviction process. To schedule an in-depth consultation about the implications of fair housing on your rental property, please send an email to our office, at [email protected], or visit www.WilmingtonForRent.com.  
  
Sweyer Property Management has been providing real estate property management services and long-term rentals to the Wilmington area since 1987. The company continues to be the industry leader with more than 1400+ units and more than 20 employees. Sweyer Property Management has exhibited continuous growth throughout the Wilmington, Leland and Hampstead areas while maintaining a 4.8 Google+ rating for customer service. To inquire about the company’s full-service management services, or to take a tour of houses for rent in the area, email [email protected], or visit WilmingtonForRent.com. You can also Like and follow the Sweyer Property Management Facebook page to get property management tips or see properties for rent.

 

Sweyer animated 300x250 ad
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Infinity 891835159

What is EMV and Am I Liable?

Kyle Thorpe - Infinity Payment Systems
Leath 683x10242

Managing Energy as a Business Priority

Lisa Leath - Leath HR Group
Geofflosee300x300 10221511305

Got Flood Insurance? Get That Proof of Loss Form in Quickly!

Geoffrey Losee - Rountree Losee LLP

Trending News

Dram Yard Restaurant To Open At New Boutique Hotel

Jessica Maurer - Mar 20, 2019

Mixed-use Project On Oleander Drive Moves Forward

Johanna Cano - Mar 21, 2019

Two New Hanover County Departments To Merge This Summer

Jenny Callison - Mar 19, 2019

Wilmington-based Bloom Launches Crowdfunding Campaign

Johanna Cano - Mar 19, 2019

Bespoke Coffee Owner Shares More Details About First Outpost

Jessica Maurer - Mar 20, 2019

In The Current Issue

LP Supplies The Construction Industry

A look at what Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (LP), which has been in Wilmington since 1985, makes and sells....


Storm Repairs Boost Battleship

The more than 35-year-old visitors center, which greets thousands annually before they board the memorial warship, is getting a major makeov...


6 Months After Florence

It’s been six months since Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Wilmington area, and John Pike and his family are still not living in the...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Transporting the Future - Power Breakfast 3.12.2019
Health Care Heroes 2018
2018 WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with Eric Dinenberg, Rouse Properties