There are a lot of laws and regulations that apply to landlords, on federal to state to county and even city levels. Today, we’re discussing the top five laws that need your attention. These are all federal laws. They tend to have the most teeth and the biggest penalties if you violate them.
Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate against people in certain protected classes. It includes how you advertise your property, select your tenants, and manage your property. I have not yet met a landlord who wants to intentionally discriminate against someone. However, you can unintentionally run afoul of this act if you don’t study it.
Americans with Disabilities Act
The ADA is written to ensure equal access and enjoyment of rental property by people with disabilities. If a current or potential renter asks for a reasonable modification or accommodation under the ADA, you need to pay attention. A wheelchair-bound renter might need a ramp or lowered counters. The doors might need to be widened. There are some painful penalties if you violate this act.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
The Fair Credit Reporting Act comes into play when you run a background screening on a potential renter. Study the area of the law that applies to adverse action letters. If you deny an application or request different terms like a higher deposit, you want to be compliant with this act.
Federal Trade Commission Red Flag Rule
Study this rule before you run a background check on anyone. The red flag rule is designed to protect people from identity theft.
When you own rental property, you need to keep excellent records. Make sure you know what the IRS requires. If you pay vendors more than $600 in a tax year, you’re required to send them a 1099 and complete an informational return on them.
These are the top 5 laws every landlord needs to study. If you have questions about this blog, please contact us at Hoffman Realty.