The other night I was at a social event. I ran into someone that I’ve met before but don’t know well. He informed me that he was one of my competitors. I knew that he didn’t hold a real estate license so I asked him how so? He let me know that he owned rental property and he self managed. Well that’s not really a competitor, but I understood what he was saying. I let him know that a lot of people self manage and I’m excited for anybody who’s successful. He proceeded to tell me a little bit about how he ran his business and how well he was doing. One of the things he told me raised a red flag. I won’t give any details but part of his screening process could easily be considered a violation of fair housing law. I let him know that he could be fined a minimum of $10,000 per violation. He told me of something else he did when approving or denying an applicant. Again, what he was doing was in some circumstances a fair housing violation. His response was “are you telling me that I can’t keep people out of my property that I don’t want?” I let him know that it depends on what it is that he doesn’t want.
The fair housing act became law in 1968 and amended in 1988. Fair housing covers the following protected classes: race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap. And in some cases depending on state or local law, sexual orientation is considered a protected class . For more details on the fair housing act, go to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development web site HUD Fair Housing.
I can’t emphasize enough that this is a business, and as a business you need to know every law national, state, and local. Fair housing is not something to be taken lightly. All of my employees have had fair housing training whether they are going to be talking to the public or not.
Here’s to keeping cash flow positive,