Making profitable and exciting investments in single-family rental homes is possible. 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.
It is crucial for first-time rental property owners to have a fundamental understanding of leasing strategies and the applicable laws governing both the property and its occupants. 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
It’s crucial to acquire all the information you need about potential tenants in order to make sure you choose the right ones for your rental property. A rental application containing the names and dates of birth of all intended occupants, including minors, can be completed by them as a means of achieving this. Obtaining a minimum of three previous rental references and a recent employment history are also vital.
Additionally, gathering every adult renter’s Social Security number and conducting a background check on them can reveal important details about their personality and financial background. You can make an informed choice and locate a good tenant for your rental property by following these steps.
Before granting a rental applicant access to your property, double-check 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. Prejudice against renters on the grounds of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, handicap, or familial status is specifically illegal under a number of federal laws currently in effect. You have to be aware of these laws and follow them all the time.
– Fair Housing Act (FHA): Guarantees that individuals are not subjected to housing discrimination on the basis of their disability, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or familial status. Including tenant selection, advertising, and the terms and conditions of the tenancy, the FHA is applicable to each stage of the rental procedure.
– Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Remember that there is a law against discrimination against individuals with disabilities enforced by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Landlords of structures containing four or more units are obligated to provide reasonable accommodations for tenants who are disabled. Possible solutions encompass the installation of grab bars in restrooms or the provision of accessible parking spaces.
– Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA): A federal statute that provides protection against workplace discrimination for individuals aged 40 or older. Discrimination in housing on the grounds of age is also forbidden by the ADEA.
– Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA): Rent transactions and other credit-related transactions are protected from discrimination by this federal law. In accordance with the ECOA, landlords are not allowed to treat people differently on the grounds of their age, marital status, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or ageism.
In conjunction with federal legislation, state and local regulations warrant thorough investigation. There may be additional protected classes governed by local regulations.
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. You can make sure you’re not taking advantage of prospective tenants by remaining professional and utilizing an impartial screening process.
It’s important to remember that a person with a disability does not always mean they are a suitable tenant for your property. Property owners are required to make “reasonable accommodations” for their tenants under 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.” Reasonable accommodation should not be used as a basis to reject a prospective tenant who satisfies the eligibility criteria for renting your property. 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. In addition, if a tenant chooses to keep a service animal on the property, you are not allowed to charge them extra rent or fees. Service and emotional support animals are also excluded from rental pet policies.
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 Sarasota property manager? Our goal at Real Property Management Suncoast is to assist our rental property owners in finding the best tenants for their properties through transparent, non-discriminatory screening and leasing processes. Contact us online today or at 941-309-1111 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.