Fair Housing 2022 – Best Practices For Staying Compliant
Fair Housing Laws are important for tenants because they ensure that each tenant is treated fairly by landlords regardless of their national origin, religion, race, color, or gender.
Even though these laws are important, it is easy for some landlords to violate fair housing laws because they get too busy and place less importance on compliance.
Fair Housing Obligations
It is illegal to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing, including against individuals seeking a mortgage or housing assistance, or in other housing-related activities. The Fair Housing Act prohibits this discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and sexual harassment), familial status, and disability.
A variety of other federal civil rights laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, prohibit discrimination in housing and community development programs and activities, particularly those that are assisted with HUD funding.
These civil rights laws include obligations such as taking reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP) and taking appropriate steps to ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities through the provision of appropriate auxiliary aids and services. Various federal fair housing and civil rights laws require HUD and its program participants to affirmatively further the purposes of the Fair Housing Act.
HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) works to eliminate housing discrimination and promote civil rights and economic opportunity through housing. FHEO enforces fair housing laws. One of its roles is to investigate complaints of housing discrimination. If you believe you have been discriminated against in violation of any of these federal fair housing laws, you can file a complaint with FHEO.
Thankfully, it’s easy to stay compliant and follow Fair Housing Laws, especially by following these tips.
Tip #1 – Have A Plan For Tenant Screening
Every landlord has to screen tenants at some point because without tenants, there is no rental income.
Before screening tenants, Oregon landlords must develop a plan for tenant screening because following that plan will ensure that each prospective tenant is treated the same and the most qualified tenant is chosen based on informed decisions.
Tip #2 – Stay Consistent With Following Tenant Rules
Once the rules are established, they should be followed consistently because, if you ‘go with your gut’ with one tenant, versus another, rather than following through with tenant screening, you could be accused of a Fair Housing Violation.
Thankfully, when you use online tools like Rently, or a local property manager like Rent Portland Homes, you can efficiently screen tenants every time.
Besides following your tenant screening rules, you should also stay consistent with your own rules for your rental property because going easy on one tenant over another when they break the rules could lead some tenants to accuse you of violating fair housing laws.
Tip #3 – Double-Check Your Advertising
Even though some landlords don’t think twice about their ads, the reality is that advertising often gets landlords in trouble because how they wrote an ad could be appealing to one tenant, while being offensive to another.
For best results with advertising, you should have more than one person review your ad because if someone thinks that your ad may be offensive, this reasons enough for you to go back to the drawing board.
Contact Rent Portland Homes – Professionals
At Rent Portland Homes – Professionals, we use the most up-to-date tools for tenant screening and this allows us to stay compliant with Fair Housing Laws while choosing the most qualified tenants for our client’s properties.
If you need property management for your rental, contact us today by calling (503) 447-7735 or click here to connect with us online.