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How to Avoid Rental Housing Discrimination as a Landlord

It is important that landlords make sure all tenants are treated equally and without discrimination. Unfortunately, housing discrimination is a persistent problem in many parts of the world. 

Keep in mind that it’s illegal and unethical to discriminate against tenants based on their race, gender, religion, national origin, disability, familial status, or any other protected characteristic. Here are some tips on how landlords can avoid housing discrimination to create a fair and inclusive housing environment for all tenants.

Get familiar with fair housing laws

The first step in avoiding housing discrimination is to understand the laws that govern fair housing. In most countries, it is illegal to discriminate against tenants based on certain protected characteristics. Educate yourself on the fair housing laws in your country or region and make sure you are complying with them.

Read more: What Every Landlord Should Know About Fair Housing Laws

Use objective criteria for tenant screening

When screening potential tenants, it is important to use objective criteria to assess their suitability for your property. These may include their credit history, rental history, employment status, and income level. You should avoid making decisions based on subjective factors alone. 

Be consistent in your tenant screening process

To ensure fairness and avoid discrimination, use tenant screening criteria that are consistent for all applicants. This means that you should use the same standards for every tenant, regardless of their race, gender, or any other characteristic.

Read more: Stay Away From These Tenant Screening Questions

Avoid discriminatory language in your rental advertisements

When advertising your rental property, be careful to avoid language that may be considered discriminatory. For example, using phrases like "ideal for young professionals" or "suitable for single individuals" could be seen as discriminating against families with children or older tenants.

Provide reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities

Note that landlords are also required to make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities, such as providing wheelchair ramps, grab bars, or other modifications to the property. Failure to do so may be considered discrimination.

Treat all tenants equally

Once tenants have moved in, it is important to treat them all equally and without discrimination. This means responding promptly to maintenance requests, providing equal access to common areas, and enforcing rules and regulations consistently.

Respond promptly to complaints of discrimination

If a tenant believes they have been discriminated against, take their complaint seriously and investigate it promptly. You should have a clear policy in place for handling complaints of discrimination and take steps to address any issues that are identified.

Final Thoughts

Housing discrimination is a serious problem that can have a significant impact on tenants' lives. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that your rental property is free from discrimination and provides a fair and inclusive housing environment. 

By following the tips outlined above and educating yourself on fair housing laws, you can create a safe and welcoming space for all tenants.