If you are about to invest in corporate rentals and executive rentals, or you already own them and wish to be in full agreement with federal laws, you need to be aware of the Fair Housing Act. It is legislation dating back to 1968 and it “prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status”. It applies to corporate rentals as much as it does to standard housing options, and that means you have to pay attention to it when listing and renting your executive rentals, too.
How would you have (inadvertently) violated the FHA in your corporate rentals or executive rentals? As one real estate report explains, “Fair Housing Act violations can occur in all phases of buying and renting, including in advertising, while you search, throughout the application process, in financing or credit checks, and during eviction proceedings.”
As someone who owns corporate rentals, you can violate it by suggesting a potential client look at a different property in a different location based on your feelings about their race, sex (and/or sexual orientation), disabilities, and so on. You might refuse to rent to someone or ask for a higher deposit based on some prejudices or inaccurate beliefs you hold. You might charge someone a higher rate based on their gender or their race.
There are many ways you might be in violation of it, and so it pays to know one key rule to help you avoid crossing the line and breaking the law when renting out your executive rentals: You must apply the same standards and extend the same terms to everyone who applies to rent a property.
In other words, if someone is disabled and wishes to rent the property, you need to make reasonable accommodations for that tenant. If someone is a different ethnicity than another applicant, you cannot give the second applicant preference over the other. Everyone must be given the same treatment.
Keep in mind that you might violate the FHA in advertising, screening, and many other ways. It is always in your best interest to be fully versed in the ways in which the FHA overlaps with your rental business. A good way to protect yourself is to be an exquisite record keeper, creating a fail-proof system that tracks everything from first contacts and applications to meetings and all the rest. This is one of the best ways to be sure you do not fail to meet the FHA standards and to prove nothing prejudicial or unfair was done during your interactions with renters or potential corporate or executive renters.
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