Fair Housing- Does Anybody Still Not Understand This?

Property Manager with Investors Choice Property Management CAL BRE LIC# 01124954

As a small, service based property management company serving the greater Sacramento area, we are always mindful of our clients' wishes, except to the extent when a client's wishes are in conflict with anti-discrimination laws.

Frankly, I am surprised just how often the question comes up, so we'll ask it again here:

How much say does the landlord have in the placement of the tenant?

The answer: It depends. If the tenant is being placed within a bedroom in the landlords home AND the landlord is still occupying the home while a portion of it is being rented (a sublet), then the owner can make the call as to whom he or she would like to rent to (i.e. man/woman/single/married/etc.)

However, if the rental dwelling is being offered on the market for lease or rent (not a sublet), federal fair housing laws apply. Recently an owner client called to state she "really liked the couple that viewed the home last week, but did not want to rent to them because they have 4 children". I was quick to inform the client that she could not make such a distinction, that health and safety codes permitted up to 2 persons per bedroom +1, so a 4 bedroom home conceivably could accommodate up to 9 people.

It looks like we'll lose a client over our insistance to comply with fair housing laws, but that is preferable to a fair housing complaint.

Investors Choice Property Management (ICPM) manages 110 single-family units with the care and diligence our Landlord clients deserve, in a manner that has them referring their friends, co-workers and family members. With over 16 years professional property management experience, our business is 95% word-of-mouth referral, we do NO Sales, we do NOT markup repairs, and pay among the highest referral fees in the industry for management accounts. Visit our website at www.investorschoicepm.com today for more details, and find out what we mean when we say:

“Experience Property Management the Way it Should Be.”

Comments (4)

Sheila Moran
RE/MAX Access (Garden Ridge, San Antonio, New Braunfels) - New Braunfels, TX
SanAntonioSheila.com, RE/MAX Access, 210-32


Great post!

I too am surprised that I have certain "requests" from Owners....they are usually the Clients that you don't want!

Feb 23, 2009 01:41 PM
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

I've had similar issues. People don't get it. They think skin color is the only thing they can't object to, if that.

Feb 23, 2009 10:18 PM
Sandy Shores FL RealtorĀ®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Hi Thomas, Great post! Sometimes it's a tough pill to swallow for the owners that come up with these demands...but the law is the law, period!

Feb 24, 2009 05:30 AM
Thomas R. Martin Broker/Owner ICPM
Investors Choice Property Management - Sacramento, CA
Property Management the way it SHOULD be.

There will always be a small segment of society that continues to yell at the rain, but fair housing is here to stay. Thank you for your comments.

Feb 24, 2009 11:22 AM