Can I Pick Tenants I Want for My Rental Property? Austin Property Management & The Fair Housing Act
System - Monday, October 23, 2017
A question we get asked a lot by potential new clients is: can I pick my tenants? The problem is that many landlords want to purposely look for tenants who don’t have children or pets. So the real question they are asking is: can I discriminate against children and animals?
We understand that. Children and pets can do a lot of damage to a home. But, we have to follow the laws.
Fair Housing Laws and Familial Status
According to the fair housing laws, we cannot discriminate against a potential tenant based on familial status. This means, you cannot deny an application just because the tenants have children. This is illegal and can get you into a lot of trouble. With pets, we have a little leeway. Animals are not considered a protected class, and they aren’t protected by fair housing laws unless they are service animals or support animals. You can say no to pets.
Inspections and Deposits
The problem with saying no to pets is that over 98 percent of renters and homeowners have animals, so it’s going to be hard to find a good tenant who doesn’t have a pet in the Austin area. We offer an inspection service to our clients, which is especially useful if you have a tenant with pets. We visit the property every six months to make sure the pet is being taken care of and the property is in good condition. We also collect a security deposit that would cover any potential damage.
You can put limits and restrictions on the pets as well. You can accept only animals below a certain weight limit and keep aggressive breeds out of your rental property. This helps to maintain your home and provide a larger tenant pool.
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