Doing business in Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Alameda Counties

Call 408-559-5649

Call 408-559-5649

What Property Managers Must Know About Fair Housing Laws, But Are Afraid To Ask

Written by David Roberson, Esq. on . Posted in Property Management

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Fair housing laws were implemented in the U.S. during the Lyndon Johnson Administration of the 1960s to help prevent discrimination towards minority and underrepresented groups in housing or renting.  Some fifty years later we are still faced with it on a daily basis.

According to recent data there were close to 30,000 housing discrimination complaints filed in the U.S. in 2012, which is an increase of nearly 5% from 2011.  As a property manager or a property management company it is paramount to understand these basic fundamental laws to avoid any violation and potential liability for you and the property owner.

Advertising Must Comply with Fair Housing

The following language should be communicated on all advertisements, websites, marketing materials, and communications:

“ABC Property Management and our clients do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability or familial status.”

By displaying this language you are communicating a public acknowledgement of the Fair Housing laws and the concomitant           restrictions.  Property managers need to be mindful not to use language which although is seemingly innocuous actually discriminates against its perceived audience.

Some examples of this are phrases like, “great for a young couple,” “family-oriented neighborhood,” or “perfect for single female.”   Words which appear harmless like “safe,” and “exclusive,” also imply that the property is not available for certain groups based on stereotypes.  A prudent practice for property managers and property management companies would be to describe the neighborhood, its location, and attributes of the surrounding areas instead of being exclusionary towards individuals.

Screening Policies Requires Precision in Communication

A written policy for minimal tenant standards is critical such that a bar is set and cannot be overlooked in qualifying tenants.  The exact items to have in a written screening policy include employment history, present income, credit worthiness, criminal background, eviction history and any other red-flags on a screening report.  This information should be communicated to the prospective tenant immediately and be front and center in a written policy such that a tenant that is denied for meritorious reasons will not be able to argue discrimination.  These standards must be clear, concise, and unambiguously communicated to the potential tenants.

 

David Roberson, Esq.

David Roberson, Esq.

David is a licensed real estate attorney, a licensed real estate broker, and has been involved in the real estate business since he graduated from college in 1986.David has personally been involved in hundreds of real estate transactions, has personally inspected over 2,500 residential properties, 12 million square feet of new commercial construction, and is an expert in 12 separate building code categories. David and his wife Shelly have owned a personal portfolio of investment properties in several states including the bay area since 1998.

David currently is the broker/owner of Silicon Valley Property Management Group (SVPMG) which manages 150+ client properties on the San Francisco Peninsula.Trust, transparency, and performance guarantees are the foundation of SVPMG. David challenges anyone to find a PM company that offers services similar to the extensive education, customer service, and performance guarantees provided by SVPMG.

David also provides consulting for his clients on property development feasibility, construction, and complex real estate transactions.

David has authored a published law review article, two real estate books, and over 120 real estate blog articles.
David Roberson, Esq.
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Trackback from your site.

David Roberson, Esq.

David is a licensed real estate attorney, a licensed real estate broker, and has been involved in the real estate business since he graduated from college in 1986. David has personally been involved in hundreds of real estate transactions, has personally inspected over 2,500 residential properties, 12 million square feet of new commercial construction, and is an expert in 12 separate building code categories. David and his wife Shelly have owned a personal portfolio of investment properties in several states including the bay area since 1998. David currently is the broker/owner of Silicon Valley Property Management Group (SVPMG) which manages 150+ client properties on the San Francisco Peninsula. Trust, transparency, and performance guarantees are the foundation of SVPMG. David challenges anyone to find a PM company that offers services similar to the extensive education, customer service, and performance guarantees provided by SVPMG. David also provides consulting for his clients on property development feasibility, construction, and complex real estate transactions. David has authored a published law review article, two real estate books, and over 120 real estate blog articles.

Leave a comment

Silicon Valley Property
Management Group

1900 Camden Avenue
San Jose, CA 95124
408-559-5649

We manage residential and commercial rental properties in San Jose, Campbell, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos Hills and every point in between.

They get things done right and right away

★★★★★
5
Great services organization. They get things done right and right away, highly professional and no nonsense. I would highly recommend this firm for leasing or renting/selling a property.
- Eric Frazier
Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 1 reviews

CA RE Broker #01942886