Property Management Blog

How to Navigate Fair Housing Laws

Welcome to back to Property Management Advice with Rex Rentals and Realty. I am excited to have you here to discuss a crucial aspect of property management - understanding and navigating Fair Housing regulations. With over four decades of experience in the industry, I've encountered numerous changes, and today, I want to shed light on a serious topic "Disparate Impact" under HUD's Fair Housing.

What are Federal Fair Housing laws?

As property managers, it's vital to be well-versed in the intricacies of fair housing laws. Federal Fair Housing laws provide the bedrock for our practices, prohibiting discrimination based on various factors including race, religion, color, sex, handicap, familial status, and national origin. Upholding these principles requires a comprehensive understanding of each segment of the Fair Housing Act.

But that's not all. We also need to remain vigilant about local and state fair housing laws, which might encompass additional protected classes such as gender and sexual orientation. Complying with both federal and local regulations ensures that we maintain a level playing field for all potential applicants, regardless of their background.

What is Disparate Impact?

Now, let's dive into the concept of "Disparate Impact," a term gaining significance within the realm of fair housing. In simple terms, it refers to unintended discrimination. As property managers, we need to read between the lines and grasp the implications of our actions to avoid unknowingly perpetuating discrimination.

A successful rental application process begins with gathering relevant information from prospective tenants. This includes understanding their income, job history, rental track record, and eviction history. While minor issues like a parking ticket or a speeding ticket from years ago might not raise concerns, consistent patterns of undesirable behavior must be taken into account.

For instance, a pattern of accumulating parking and speeding tickets over an extended period might indicate a certain personality type, prompting us to proceed with caution. Moreover, it's essential to be aware of how felonies are assessed under fair housing. This is where "Disparate Impact" plays a role, urging us to be mindful of blanket policies that could inadvertently exclude individuals with certain convictions.

Mitigating Fair Housing Issues: Documentation and Policies

To mitigate any potential fair housing issues, we emphasize the importance of documenting each step of the application process. Having written policies in place, such as income requirements consistent with the standard of three times the rent, helps protect us in case we ever face scrutiny from fair housing authorities.

At Rex Rentals and Realty, we take immense pride in being a full-service property management company, committed to upholding fair housing principles and finding the best tenants for our clients' properties. We understand that learning about fair housing is an ongoing journey, and we continuously strive to stay updated on any changes in regulations to serve you better.

Thank you for being part of the Rex Rentals and Realty community, and we hope you found this information informative and enlightening. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have. We're here to take the pain out of your daily investment along with the stress and put more profit in your pocket.

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