Landlords in California need to stay up-to-date on the ever-changing legal landscape of the industry. Here is a dive into Anti-Discrimination.
Anti-Discrimination Before putting your vacant property online, you must understand fair housing laws. You need to know what you can and cannot say or do when selecting tenants. California landlords are free to turn down applicants based on bad credit, negative references, and bad rental history. In addition, it is also permissible to deny applicants on certain behaviors based on input received from prior landlords, such as frequently paying rent late or other factors that would make them bad tenants.
That being said, you need to know the “protected categories” under the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended (Title 42 U.S. Code § § 3601-3619 and 3631). Prospective tenants cannot be turned down based on their race, national origin, sex, family (such as having children under age 18), religion, or physical or mental disability. According to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) California, specific landlords are also forbidden to turn down an applicant based on that person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or receipt of public assistance. California also adds that it is also illegal to discriminate against someone because of their “personal characteristics or traits.”
Protecting Your Investment
It is paramount when renting to tenants, that you protect your investment. To keep yourself and your investment, safe make fact-based assumptions. For instance it is safe, to assume that a tenant with bad rental history will continue that same history while in your rental. It is not safe to make any assumptions about a person’s rental behaviors based on any characteristics that are not directly related to renting.