If you have an apartment to rent, you may believe the process is going to be simply and straightforward. Simply find a tenant and then have them sign the lease agreement. However, the fact is, there are several things that you have to consider to ensure you do this legally.
Advertising is perhaps the most common way that landlords find someone to rent an apartment. When advertising, describe the amenities or attributes of the property, not what you are looking for in a resident. You should never include statements such as, “great for an older couple,” as it may be considered discriminatory against families with children. You also don’t need to use words such as “exclusive” or “safe” since this may imply that you are only renting to particular groups. At the conclusion of the advertisement, it is a good idea to place a fair housing logo or another disclaimer.
This happens if you (the landlord) attempt to direct a resident to a particular part of the property. To avoid claims of “steering” from a potential resident, it is a good idea to show all available properties you have to a potential resident. Let the potential renter figure out what they want to see and what to skip. Only present facts about the property. You need to make sure to avoid statements such as, “there are lots of children around the same age as yours,” and other similar statements.
Congress enacted a law in 1996 based on a HUD memo from 1991 that stated a two-person-per-bedroom occupancy standard was considered acceptable in most situations. While this is not a hard a fast rule, it is a standard to keep in mind when renting out an apartment. For question about the rules in Miami check this site out on housing standards.
It is acceptable for you to create a set of “house rules” for all residents to follow. These rules need to be non-discriminatory and basic. They should also be written in a way that makes them applicable to all residents and not just certain groups of residents. For example, rules that state “children shall not roughhouse in the hall” may be considered discriminatory. Use generic terms, such as guests or residents. Also, rules have to be enforced uniformly towards all residents.
As a landlord, you need to ensure that you rent out apartments in a fair and non-discriminatory manner. This will help ensure you don’t violate any laws and that you can find the tenants best suited for your particular location.
If you need help with your rental situation, contact the team at Hansen & Taylor Attorneys at Law. Being informed is the best way to keep everyone happy.