Single-family rental property investment can be both lucrative and exciting. However, as opposed to appearances, becoming a landlord is not as simple as it may appear, and there are numerous details that must be possessed prior to leasing a property to tenants.
Knowing the fundamentals of leasing tactics and the laws that affect both you and your tenants is crucial for anyone purchasing their first rental property. We have prepared an extensive guide covering all the essentials to assist you in leasing your first property. You can have a good first experience as a landlord by adhering to these easy rules.
Mastering Renter Screening
Getting as much information as possible about potential tenants is crucial if you want to make sure they are the right fit for your rental home. Asking them to complete a rental application with the names and birth dates of all intended occupants—including minors—is one way to accomplish this. It is also imperative to obtain a minimum of three previous rental references and a recent employment history.
In addition, background checks and the collection of Social Security numbers of all adult renters can yield significant information regarding their personal lives and financial investments. You can make an informed choice and locate a good tenant for your rental property by following these steps.
Before granting a rental applicant permission to occupy your property, verify the information they have provided. This can be accomplished by getting information about their rental history from their prior landlords. It may take some time, but doing extensive research prior to signing the lease can assist you in preventing future unpleasant surprises.
Ensuring Non-Discriminatory Practices
It is essential, when advertising for and screening prospective tenants, to avoid any form of discrimination,, whether deliberate or unintentional. Renters cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their race, sex, color, national origin, religion, handicap, or familial status, as stated by a number of federal laws in force. Maintaining awareness of and consistently adhering to these laws is imperative.
– Fair Housing Act (FHA): Prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of religion, sex, national origin, race, national origin, or disability; ensures all other protected characteristics are respected. The FHA covers all aspects of the rental process, including marketing, choosing a tenant, and tenancy agreements.
– Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): It is crucial to acknowledge that a regulation in place with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) prohibits discriminatory practices against individuals with disabilities. Landlords of structures containing four or more units are obligated to provide reasonable accommodations for tenants who are disabled. This can entail putting grab bars in restrooms or offering accessible parking spots.
– Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA): An act of Congress safeguarding against workplace discrimination individuals aged 40 and older. Age-based housing discrimination is likewise forbidden by the ADEA.
– Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA): This federal law guarantees that credit transactions, including rental transactions, do not discriminate against any individual. Landlords are prohibited by the ECOA from engaging in discriminatory practices against tenants on the basis of their public assistance status, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, or age.
In conjunction with federal legislation, state and local regulations warrant thorough investigation. Local laws might provide for additional protected classes.
Avoiding discriminatory language is crucial when writing rental advertisements. Saying that you won’t rent to elderly people, families with kids, or people on government assistance is part of this. It is essential to evaluate applicants fairly in the applicant screening process, using the information provided in their application. One can guarantee the absence of discrimination against prospective tenants by upholding professionalism and employing an impartial screening system.
It’s critical to refrain from assuming that a person with a disability isn’t a suitable fit to rent your property. Pupils are entitled to “reasonable accommodations” from their landlords in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Act. Reasonable accommodation is “a change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or service that may be necessary for a person with a disability to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.” Accommodations shouldn’t be a justification for turning away a potential tenant if they fit your property’s eligibility requirements. The requested accommodation will be furnished and installed at the tenant’s expense, with the stipulation that the tenant will return the premises in their original state upon vacate.
Even if your rental property has a strict pet policy, one accommodation you might need to think about is allowing service and emotional support animals. It is essential to note that service and emotional support animals are exempt from rental pet policies; if a tenant decides to keep a service animal on the property, you cannot charge additional rent or fees.
It can be difficult to recall every law and best practice pertaining to the leasing of rental properties. Why not entrust this duty to a Arlington property manager? In order to assist our rental property owners in finding the best tenants for their properties, Real Property Management MidTown provides transparent and anti-discriminatory screening and leasing services. Contact us online today or at 817-583-6121 to learn more.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.