Purchasing rental single-family homes can be a thrilling and fulfilling endeavor. But as hard as it may seem, owning a property is not easy, and there are a lot of things you should know before renting out your space.
Comprehending the fundamentals of leasing strategies and legislation that applies to both the proprietor and the lessees is imperative for a novice rental property proprietor. In order to assist you in leasing your initial property, we have compiled an all-encompassing guide that addresses the fundamentals. You can have a great first experience as a landlord managing a rental property by adhering to these easy rules.
Mastering Renter Screening
Acquiring all the information you need about a potential tenant is crucial to guaranteeing that you choose the right person for your rental property. Asking them to complete a rental application with the names and birth dates of all intended occupants—including minors—is one way to accomplish this. It’s also critical to request at least three previous rental references and a recent employment history.
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 make an informed choice and locate a good tenant for your rental property by following these steps.
Before granting a rental applicant permission to occupy your property, verify 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. Landlords are required to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities if they own a building with four or more units. This can entail putting grab bars in restrooms or offering accessible parking spots.
– Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA): A federal law that shields people 40 years of age and older from discrimination at work. Age-based housing discrimination is also prohibited by the ADEA.
– Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA): A prohibition on discrimination in credit transactions, including rental transactions, is guaranteed by this federal legislation. Landlords are forbidden by the ECOA from treating people unfairly on the basis of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, age, or because they are recipients of public assistance.
It is imperative to investigate state and local laws in addition to federal legislation. Local laws might establish additional protected classes.
It is imperative that rental advertisements refrain from using discriminatory language. This includes declaring that you will not rent to government assistance recipients, families with children, or elderly people. It’s critical to fairly evaluate applicants during the screening process using the data they submitted in their application. Potential tenants can be safeguarded against discrimination by maintaining an air of professionalism and utilizing an impartial screening system.
It’s critical to refrain from assuming that a person with a disability isn’t a suitable fit to rent 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.” Accommodations shouldn’t be a justification for turning away a potential tenant if they fit your property’s eligibility requirements. 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 Oklahoma City 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 Enterprises. Contact us online today or at 405-463-0040 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.