As a Texas landlord, you can look at a prospective tenant’s credit history or rental history and decide if you want to accept or reject the application. Most people understand that you can’t deny an applicant housing simply because you didn’t like the way they look. Most of us want to be treated fairly and not judged wrongly. Specialized Specialized Property Management understands Fair Housing laws and can help you stay in compliance with this law even in areas you might not think you can’t violate it.
Be careful not to use leading descriptions in an advertisement for your unit. Ads can sound like you are being exclusive in your renting preferences. Say that your rental is perfect for an older tenant may sound like you are discriminating against families. Keep your advertising about the home and not suggestive of an idea of the preferred tenant for the unit.
Application and Screening
Rental applications are allowed to ask about employment, how many people will live in the property, and even why you are moving. An Arlington property management company can screen for criminal backgrounds, credit problems, and sex offender registrations. You can’t screen tenants for race or birthplace preferences. Applications need to be careful not to ask in-depth questions about disabilities.
A landlord has a no pet policy for his rental unit. A potential tenant asks if there are any exceptions to the pet rule. The landlord replies, no. Before this turns into a discrimination lawsuit, the landlord needs to stop and ask if the animal in question is a service animal. Even if the applicant didn’t specify it was a service animal, this situation could be a problem. Service animals are not classified as pets and a disabled person can’t be denied housing because of a service animal.
The Fair Housing Act has been in place since 1968 and is a law Arlington rental property management companies should long be aware of. Property owners need to be prepared to understand and comply with the law as well. For information about Fair Housing regulations in Texas visit http://www.twc.state.tx.us/partners/housing-discrimination.
Specialized Specialized Property Management offers an in-house legal team with experience to keep investors compliant to all laws and codes dealing with investment property. Let our leading Arlington rental property management company go to work for you.
Find us at (www.specializedrpm.com) to learn more about our comprehensive list of services.