It can be both exciting and lucrative to invest in single-family rental properties. However, becoming a landlord is more difficult than it may appear; prior to leasing your property to tenants, there are numerous details that must be mastered.
It is crucial for first-time rental property owners to comprehend the fundamentals of leasing tactics as well as the legal framework that affects both them and their tenants. We have put together a thorough guide that covers all the fundamentals to assist you in leasing your first property. You can have a great first experience as a landlord managing a rental property by adhering to these easy rules.
Mastering Renter Screening
Acquiring all the information you need about a potential tenant is crucial to guaranteeing that you choose the right person 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. Additional critical requirements are of a recent employment history and a minimum of three rental references from the past.
In addition, conducting a background check and collecting the Social Security numbers of all adult renters can yield significant insights regarding their personal lives and financial transactions. You can find a reliable tenant for your rental property and reach an informed conclusion by adhering to these steps.
Before granting a rental applicant access to your property, double-check the information they have provided. This objective can be accomplished through the compilation of rental history information by contacting the individuals’ prior landlords. You can prevent unpleasant surprises later on by doing extensive research before signing the lease, even though it might take some time.
Ensuring Non-Discriminatory Practices
It is imperative to avoid any form of discrimination, whether deliberate or inadvertent, when advertising for and screening prospective tenants. Rental discrimination against tenants on the basis of their race, sex, color, national origin, religion, handicap, or familial status is explicitly prohibited by a number of federal statutes. These laws are something you have to know about and always abide by.
– Fair Housing Act (FHA): guarantees that no individual will face housing discrimination due to their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or disability. All aspects of the rental process are covered by the FHA, including advertising, choosing a tenant, and tenancy agreements.
– Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): It is significant to remember that discrimination against individuals with disabilities is prohibited by law by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Landlords who own four or more units in a building are required to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. 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 shields people 40 years of age or older from discrimination at work. Age-based housing discrimination is also prohibited by the ADEA.
– Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA): Rent transactions and other credit-related transactions are protected from discrimination by this federal law. Landlords are prohibited by the ECOA from engaging in unlawful discrimination practices against tenants on the basis of their political affiliation, national origin, religion, race, color, sex, marital status, age, or welfare status.
State and local laws should also be investigated, in addition to federal legislation. There might be more protected classes in accordance with regional laws.
It’s critical to steer clear of discriminatory language when writing rental ads. This includes declaring that you will not rent to government assistance recipients, families with children, or elderly people. It is imperative to conduct a fair evaluation of candidates throughout the screening process, relying solely on the information they have submitted. Potential tenants can be safeguarded against discrimination by maintaining an air of professionalism and utilizing an impartial screening system.
Pretending that an individual with a disability is inherently unsuitable to rent your property is an extremely important error that must be avoided. Property owners are required by the Fair Housing Act to provide “reasonable accommodations” for their tenants. 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. With the understanding that they will return the property to its original state upon move-out, the renter will cover the cost and installation of the requested accommodations.
Despite the presence of a firm policy prohibiting pets, one accommodation that may be necessary is permitting service and emotional support animals within the rental property. It is crucial to acknowledge that rental pet policies do not apply to service and emotional support animals. Consequently, if a tenant chooses to keep a service animal on the property, no additional rent or fees may be assessed.
It can be difficult to be proficient in every law and leasing practice pertaining to rental properties. Why not entrust this duty to a Sugar Land property manager? Real Property Management Sugarland provides leasing and screening services that are transparent and nondiscriminatory, assisting our rental property owners in finding the most qualified tenants for their properties. Contact us online today or at 832-333-9923 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.