3 Best Landlord Tips for Avoiding Fair Housing Mistakes in Boston

As a landlord, you want to make sure you avoid fair housing mistakes because they can be expensive and damaging. Property managers will help you stay in compliance with fair housing laws, but if you’re a self-managing landlord, you’ll need to make sure you know the law. These are three quick tips that will help you avoid fair housing problems.

Protected Classes
Federal fair housing laws state seven protected classes, and it’s illegal to discriminate against anyone in those classes. The Mass.gov site is a great resource with a lot of information. It lists the protected classes that Massachusetts defines, in addition to those seven federal protected classes. Each state is different, and to successfully manage property in Boston, you’ll need to know how the Commonwealth of Massachusetts protects those classes of people, and you’ll need to be sure you aren’t violating the laws.

Procedures and Policies
Have a consistent procedure and protocol in place for prospects and tenants alike. To protect yourself from fair housing violations, you need a system in place that treats everyone consistently. All of your forms, marketing and policies have to be the same for your prospects and your tenants. You don’t want to do one thing for some prospects and different things for other prospects.

Service Animals
Property owners ask us about pets and service animals all the time. You don’t need to allow pets into your property, but you do need to allow service animals. Tenants who need service animals are a protected class, and you cannot discriminate against them.

These tips will help you protect your property from fair housing claims. If you’d like to talk about professional management for your rental property, please contact us at Hancock Realty.