It can be thrilling and satisfying to invest in single-family rental homes. Nevertheless, it’s not as easy as it sounds to become a landlord, and there are a lot of things you should know before renting out your property.
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 prepared an extensive guide covering all the essentials to assist you in leasing your first property. You can ensure that your first experience as a landlord is enjoyable by adhering to these straightforward 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. A rental application that requests the names and birth dates of all intended occupants, including minors, is one way to accomplish this. It is also essential to request a recent employment history and a minimum of three rental references from the past.
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 locate a qualified tenant for your rental property by using the procedures listed here to help you make an informed choice.
Before granting a rental applicant access to your property, double-check the information they have provided. Finding out about their rental history can be done by getting in touch with their prior landlords. Despite the potential time investment, making sure you do your homework before signing the lease will help you stay out of trouble later on.
Ensuring Non-Discriminatory Practices
It is essential, when advertising for and screening prospective tenants, to avoid any form of discrimination,, whether deliberate or unintentional. 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. You must be aware of these laws and continuously comply with them.
– 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. The FHA covers all aspects of the rental process, including marketing, choosing a tenant, and tenancy agreements.
– Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): It is important to acknowledge that a regulation in place with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) prohibits anti-disability discrimination. Landlords of structures containing four or more units are obligated to provide reasonable accommodations for tenants who are disabled. This could be doing things like putting grab bars in restrooms or offering accessible parking spaces.
– Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA): A federal statute that guards against employment discrimination against people 40 years of age or older. Age-based discrimination in housing is likewise forbidden 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 not allowed to treat people differently because of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, age, or because they receive government assistance, according to the ECOA.
Studying state and local laws is crucial in addition to federal law. There might be more protected classes in accordance with regional laws.
Avoiding discriminatory language is crucial when writing rental advertisements. This involves a disclaimer that says you won’t rent to government assistance recipients, families with kids, or elderly people. It’s critical to fairly evaluate applicants during the screening process using the data they submitted in their application. One can guarantee the absence of discrimination against prospective tenants by upholding professionalism and employing an impartial screening system.
It is imperative to refrain from presuming that an individual with a disability is inherently unsuitable to be a tenant of 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. With the understanding that they will return the property to its original state upon vacate, the lessee shall furnish and install the requested lodging.
Even if you have a strict policy against pets, you may still need to make accommodations for service and emotional support animals in your rental property. It’s vital to remember that rental pet policies do not apply to service or emotional support animals, and you are not allowed to charge extra for a tenant who chooses to keep a service animal on the premises.
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 Ringgold property manager? Real Property Management Ascension assists owners of rental properties in finding the ideal tenants for their properties through transparent, non-discriminatory screening and leasing services. Contact us online today or at 706-760-7912 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.