As property managers, we are sometimes asked about keeping various groups of people from living in a rental. In our area, we get asked most often about keeping out children, people of certain races, and people with disabilities. And thanks to Federal Fair Housing law, I’m happy to say it is illegal to prevent people from living in a property based on any of those reasons! Here is a complete list of Protected Classes as of this writing:
- National Origin
- Familial Status
It is likely that sexual preference and gender identity and expression will probably become federally-protected classes soon, and good practice to start respecting these categories now, as we do at Real Property Management Corazon. Nevada expands protection right now to include gender identity and expression. Look at NRS 118: Discrimination in Housing; Landlord and Tenant.
When property owners ask these questions, they are asking the wrong question. It is wrong from a cultural standpoint, wrong from a legal standpoint, and wrong from an investor’s standpoint. As a real estate investor, why would you want to say no to good money? It’s not a type of person damaging your investment property and costing you money, it’s human behavior. Don’t hate the sinner; hate the sin. Let this be what guides you. At Real Property Management Corazon, we don’t exactly manage who lives at an investment property, so much as how the renter behaves.
Fair Housing Done Right
The right way to protect your investment is by screening based on rental history, payment history, and the provable ability to pay the costs of living in your investment. And once you have rented to a tenant, it’s not “Set it and forget it.” Remember, we protect your property by managing behavior: an occasional inspection, holding the renter responsible for damage they have caused, and making sure the tenant (and the landlord) are sticking to the terms of the written lease. Just part of the list:
- Keeping track of who lives at the property to make sure only authorized occupants stay;
- Not operating unauthorized businesses, such as auto repairs onsite, which can damage your property by leaving dangerous chemicals behind;
- And of course, paying rent on time.
If you focus on what people are doing, and not what they look like, you’ll be doing great, and doing good.
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.