I haven’t had to advertise a vacancy in a long time, what is the best way to list a vacancy?

There are many different approaches to advertising rental vacancies, many of which are greatly influenced by local market conditions, property location, property conditions, and rental policies. Budgetary considerations and the need to fill a vacancy quickly may also influence what types of advertising are used. Social media and online rental postings are some of the most commonly used advertising methods. Word of mouth advertising from existing tenants or referrals from friends and family can also be quite effective in finding potential tenants. You could also consider asking your fellow landlords in the area how they advertise/market their properties and see if they will share any tips. What works for one landlord may not work for another. You may have to try several different methods and track your responses to determine what method best attracts rental prospects to your properties.

You want to make sure that your advertising complies with fair housing requirements at federal, state, and local levels. At the federal level, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), as amended in 1988, prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and handicap. State and local fair housing laws may provide greater anti-discriminations protections to additional protected classes or characteristics.

Advertising of any type and any media should be honest and truthful regarding rental terms, conditions, and policies and descriptions of property features and amenities. When advertising a rental vacancy, the listing should clearly state in a non-discriminatory manner the basic rent details that a person would need to know in order to determine an interest in the property. Basic details commonly include property location, size (e.g., number of bedrooms, baths), rent amount, deposit/fees, availability date, lease term, and important policies (e.g., pets allowed, credit check required). Bait and switch advertising is illegal under consumer fraud laws.

If the rental unit is governed by an HOA be sure that you are familiar with your HOA’s Bylaws, Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs), and Rules and Regulations regarding tenant occupants. If there are specific restrictions or regulations regarding advertising rentals of units, as long as those requirements are legal, you are obligated to comply with your HOA’s requirements.

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