In setting up my rental policies what is most important in creating compliant fair housing policies and practices?

April, 2019

Federal, state, and local fair housing laws govern your rental policies and practices for advertising and marketing of rental properties, tenant screening and selection policies, and enforcement of lease terms and conditions in a consistent and non-discriminatory manner. Your priority is knowledge and understanding of applicable fair housing laws for the location of your rental […]


I’ve heard conflicting information about whether a SSN is required to do tenant screening.

April, 2019

Requiring a social security number for tenant screenings is an accepted standard practice for most landlords. However, a social security number, while an important personally identifiable piece of information, is not always needed to run consumer reports. You should check with your tenant screening services provider regarding their business requirements for consumer reports. Obviously the […]


Can I require tenants to be U. S. citizens?

April, 2019

The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. Citizenship is not among the federally protected classes. Any landlord who plans to use citizenship as part of their tenant screening protocol should develop a policy and apply it uniformly in a non-discriminatory fashion. […]


Can I require applicants and tenants to speak English?

April, 2019

The Fair Housing Act prohibits both intentional housing discrimination and housing practices that have an unjustified discriminatory effect because of race, national origin, color, sex, religion, disability, and familial status. People with limited English proficiency are not a protected class under the Fair Housing Act. However, national origin, which is a protected class, has been […]


Fair Housing Advertising

April, 2019

Fair Housing Month is a calendar reminder to landlords to review their rental policies and practices to ensure current compliances with federal, state, and local fair housing laws. Fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in all aspects of the landlord’s rental housing policies and practices including the landlord’s advertising policy and practices. Many landlords are unaware […]


Employment Screenings

April, 2019

Employment screenings are a business necessity to protect the security of the organization, and the safety of the workforce, customers, clients, and the general public. Pre-hire background screenings have become essential practices in an organization’s standardized hiring process to identify potential risks during the qualification and verification of applicant credentials. Many employers who use pre-employment […]


Tenant Fraud

April, 2019

A recently published independent consulting study commissioned by TransUnion to evaluate fraud in the rental industry found that more than 80% of property managers participating in the study had experienced tenant fraud. Accordingly, to protect their businesses, landlords must increase their due diligence efforts, strengthen their tenant screening practices, and keep vigilant against tenant fraudulent […]


Am I required to accept emotional support animals?

April, 2019

Landlords as housing providers under the federal Fair Housing Act are required to provide reasonable accommodation to people with disabilities who require assistance animals. Emotional support animals are considered assistance animals under fair housing guidelines. Accordingly a landlord must grant reasonable accommodation to a tenant with an emotional support animal even if the landlord’s rental […]


My lease agreement specifies “no pets.” What should be done when a tenant sneaks in a dog? The tenant claims she’s just keeping it temporarily for a friend. The other tenants say the dog has been there for several weeks.

April, 2019

Since your lease agreement specifically prohibits pets, the tenant is in violation of lease terms and conditions. Depending on the situation you could give the tenant an oral warning to comply with the lease by removing the dog from the rental unit. If she fails to take care of the matter, you can serve her […]


I’ve always had a “no pets” policy but I’m beginning to wonder if I should change my policy to allow pets. The last two vacancies took longer to fill because most prospects had dogs. What should I consider in changing my policy?

April, 2019

Rental data suggests that pet friendly housing may rent faster than properties with a “no pets” policy. In many rental markets there are a greater number of potential tenants that have pets than there are landlords who allow pets in their rentals. By advertising your property as pet friendly, you gain access to a larger […]