Tip #29, Compare Apples to Apples
Avoiding Fair Housing complaints and discrimination lawsuits is a goal of every landlord, but with so many regulations to follow, it can seem like its only a matter of time before you inadvertently get into trouble.
There is one thing that can make Fair Housing regs easier to tame — consistency.
Having proof in your files that you treat every applicant the same will go a long way in defending a claim of discrimination.
Here are some examples:
1. Advertise in generally accessible media — newspapers, Internet, not private clubs or publications that might not be available to everyone.
2. Use the same application form for each applicant. Don’t rent to anyone who has not filled it out completely.
3. Ask the same verbal questions in each interview. Use a script or intake form and jot down notes of answers to show what information was objectionable when turning an applicant away. Avoid any references to personal characteristics.
4. Run the same screening reports on every applicant.
5. Establish bona fide reasons for rejecting applications, and never accept other applicants who violate those same rules.