Anyone who has ever owned residential rental property has likely either had the “tenant from hell,” or knows somebody who has. Bad tenants can do a lot of damage to your property, which oftentimes requires expensive repairs and/or replacement of broken items.

When advertising for a vacancy, it would be great to state a list of criteria for your ideal tenant and ask those who don’t fit it not to even apply. But doing so would also go against tenant screening laws and regulations.

While federal and state laws can differ, the majority of landlords are governed by the U.S. Federal Housing Laws (which are subject to the Fair Housing Act, and are enforced by HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development).

There are several classes of individuals who are protected from housing discrimination via the Act, meaning that you as a landlord and/or rental property owner must comply – which includes gathering and using certain information as a basis for selecting your tenants. These protected classes include the following:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National origin / ethnic background
  • Gender
  • Familial status
  • Mental / physical disability

Many of the discrimination claims that are filed center on the tenant application and screening process. With that in mind, it is essential to understand these rules, and to follow them closely.

Making sure that you’re in compliance with FHA and HUD regulations is an essential part of your rental real estate business. But it can also be time-consuming keeping up with – and implementing – updates. This is where working with an experienced property manager can help.

So, if you own rental homes and/or units in the Orlando or Central Florida area, we should talk. Give us a call at (407) 429-4834 or send an email to [email protected] and we’ll be happy to provide you with more details on how to make your life as a landlord much easier.

Sources:
Understanding Tenant Screening Laws. RentPrep. https://rentprep.com/tenant-screening/tenant-screening-laws/