It can be thrilling and satisfying to invest in single-family rental homes. However, becoming a landlord is more difficult than it may appear; prior to leasing your property to tenants, there are numerous details that must be mastered.
Having a basic understanding of leasing strategies and the laws that affect both you and your tenants is crucial for first-time rental property owners. In order to assist you in leasing your initial property, we have compiled an all-encompassing guide that addresses the fundamentals. 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.
In addition, conducting a background check and collecting the Social Security numbers of all adult renters can yield significant insights regarding their personal lives and financial transactions. You can find a reliable tenant for your rental property and reach an informed conclusion by adhering to these steps.
Before renting out your property to a potential tenant, 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
Avoid any form of discrimination, whether intentional or not, is essential when advertising for and screening potential tenants. Rental discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, disability, or familial status is explicitly forbidden by a number of US federal statutes. These laws must be known to you, and you must always abide by them.
– Fair Housing Act (FHA): Makes sure that no one is subjected to housing discrimination on the basis of 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 crucial to acknowledge that a regulation in place with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) prohibits discriminatory practices against individuals with disabilities. It is your responsibility as a landlord to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities if you own a building with four or more units. Installing grab bars in restrooms or offering accessible parking spaces are two examples of this.
– Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA): A federal law that shields people 40 years of age and older from discrimination at work. Age-based discrimination in housing is likewise forbidden by the ADEA.
– Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA): In credit transactions, including rental transactions, this federal law guarantees that no person is subjected to discrimination. 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.
State and local laws should also be investigated, in addition to federal legislation. There may be more protected classes in line with local laws.
It is imperative that rental advertisements refrain from using discriminatory language. This involves a disclaimer that says you won’t rent to government assistance recipients, families with kids, or elderly people. Encouragingly evaluating applicants according to the data in their application is essential when screening them. 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 by the Fair Housing Act to provide “reasonable accommodations” for their tenants. 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.” If the potential tenant satisfies the requirements to rent your property, you shouldn’t turn them down because of their accommodations. 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. A rental pet policy does 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. These points are crucial to know.
It can be difficult to stay on top of all the laws and best practices related to renting out properties. Why not entrust this duty to a Anchorage property manager? Our objective is to assist our rental property owners in finding the most qualified tenants for their properties through transparent and nondiscriminatory screening and leasing procedures at Real Property Management Last Frontier. Contact us online today or at 907-268-4779 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.