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Tip #249: Rule it Out

 It’s not just faulty screening policies that can lead to tenant discrimination claims. You may be setting yourself up for trouble with overly-strict house rules.

One of the more common examples is over-regulating children.

While it may seem natural to want to keep kids quiet and under control, rules that single out youngsters may discriminate against families — and that can lead to costly legal battles.

Examples include curfews based on age, limitations on where children can play, or regulating activities that are typical for kids, like “no ball bouncing” in an open common area. The exception is where there is a legitimate health or safety concern, like asking that an adult be present when kids are swimming.

One good rule of thumb is to never make rules with a particular tenant in mind. Each rule should make sense when applied to virtually anyone. That way, no one has the right to complain.

See last week’s Landlord Quick Tip.

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