As a property owner, you probably have a list of things you like to ask your potential tenants when they express interest in your property. You want to know the basics – who they are, can they pay rent, when they want to move in, etc. However, there are some things you shouldn’t ask.
Anything concerning ethnicity, religion, disabilities, or children should not be asked. Asking about any of things, according to the Fair Housing Act, could be construed as a discriminatory practice. It’s important to stay consistent with the questions you ask so as not to be favoring one potential tenant over another. Even something as simple as “do you go to church around here?” can be seen as discrimination against people that are a different religion. You can easily be taken to court and sued for this, so we recommend sticking to a predetermined set of questions you would like to ask and being conscious of what you are asking when straying from that list.
Family questions toes the line of being discriminatory as well, so tread carefully with asking anything about family. If asking about family history or the tenant’s national origin, these are grounds for discrimination. If you are worried that you will say something wrong, let the tenants ask questions. You do not have to be the only one asking things – in fact, the potential tenants probably have plenty of questions to ask you.
As long as you have plenty of information and back up questions, nothing should go wrong when you are talking to your tenants. Trust us, there are plenty more questions you can ask than ones you can’t. If you are still nervous about giving tours of your property, or just simply don’t have the time to, contact CAB Group to see how we can help you manage and maintain your property!