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Tip #62: House Rules
landlord helpFair housing complaints are on the rise, in part because of the government’s “zero-tolerance” policy towards discrimination claims.
One sure way to get into trouble with fair housing and state discrimination laws is to apply your “house rules” unevenly. If you make a rule, for example limiting the number of guests, use of common areas or pets, make sure you enforce it – all the time.
If a discrimination claim is lodged, investigators will look for evidence that you let some tenants slide while penalizing others. Showing documentation that you have applied your rules consistently could go a long way to defending against government fines and claims for damages.


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  • M Clark

    Great comment. These cases were backed up and are now being prosecuted. This process can take about 3 years to investigate.

    This perception of unfairness can start at the application process. If it is inconsistent or unclear and unevenly applied, there will be an unwillingness to apply for rentals. Properties can stay vacant simply due to a suspicion of an unfair process. This easy-to-remedy issue can cost property investors rents and has the potential for future litigation.

    Examining the rental criteria upfront and asking for input from local authorities can prevent costly mistakes and protect applicants and property owners alike.

    Fair Housing law is federal and cannot be ignored by property managers or their personnel. Doing so while claiming otherwise puts owners/customers at risk.

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