Legal Discrimination

As a  landlord you are allowed to openly discriminate against any tenant (regardless of their race, color, creed, national origin, gender, familial status or handicap) based on a predetermined uniform standard of tangible and intangible tenant selection criteria. Legal discrimination only works if you are fair across the entire board. You must establish uniform standards of tangible (paper) and intangible (observation) tenant selection criteria and rigidly stick to it regardless of a person’s race, color, creed, political affiliation, religion, gender, familial status, handicap or how they pay rent (sec 8 or cash tenant). For example, you cannot exclude black smokers from renting your unit, but accept white smokers. This is blatant discrimination! On the flip side of the coin, if you denied all smokers, black, white or any other color, you are setting a uniform guideline by which you exclude all candidates for tenancy based on a predetermined selection parameter and this is legally permissible discrimination.

To legally discriminate it is mandatory that you as a  landlord establish a rigid  predetermined uniform standard of tangible and intangible tenant selection criteria established for your rental. You can then use these pre-established parameters  as your guide to locating a suitable tenant. Every landlord may have slightly different tenant selection parameters for their rental units, so I have provided a detailed list of the most common tangible and intangible factors of legal discrimination used by landlords.

Tangible Factors of Legal Discrimination

  • Credit: If a prospective tenant doesn’t meet the credit standards established by a landlord for tenancy they are within their legal right to turn them down and deny them housing. A landlord is not required by law to rent to tenants that they perceive are a credit risk and unfit to live in their rental.
  • Criminal Record: If a prospective tenant’s criminal history and/or arrest record does not meet the standards established by a landlord for tenancy they are within their legal right to turn them down and deny them housing. A landlord is not required by law to rent to tenants that they perceive are law breakers and unfit to live in their rental.
  • Income: If prospective tenant doesn’t meet the income standards established by a landlord for tenancy they are within their legal right to turn them down and deny them housing. A landlord is not required by law to rent to tenants that they perceive are financially unsound and unfit to live in their rental. However, rental Ads and verbal statements, such as “No Section 8” or “No Programs Accepted” excluding tenants based solely on their lawful source of income is illegal in NY State and MUST be avoided.
  • References: If a prospective tenant’s references don’t check out according to the standards established by a landlord for tenancy they are within their legal right to turn them down and deny them housing. A landlord is not required by law to rent to tenants that they perceive have inadequate references and are unfit to live in their rental.
  • Pets: If a landlord’s policy is NO PETS, they are not required by law to accommodate pet owners and they are within their legal right to turn them down and deny them housing. (seeing eye dogs a notable exception in certain instances)
  • Smoking: If a landlord’s policy is NO SMOKING, they are not required by law to accommodate smoking tenants and are within their legal right to turn them down and deny them housing.

 

Intangible Factors of Legal Discrimination

  • Personality: If a prospective tenant’s personality does not conform to the standards established by a landlord for tenancy they are within their legal right to turn them down and deny them housing. Examples: some landlord personality standards exclude tenants that exhibit aggressive Type A personalities, while other landlord personality standards bar tenants that they perceive as nitpickers, whiners, liars, troublemakers, being disrespectful, being confrontational, having the wrong attitude, etc. A landlord is not required by law to rent to tenants that they perceive as a personality clash and unfit to live in their rental. Furthermore, analyzing a tenant’s full profile and denying that tenant based on a perceived flaw of character or faulty personality representation is not discriminatory. It is a financially sound business practice for many professional landlords.
  • Mental Health: If a prospective tenant’s mental stability does not conform to the standards established by a landlord for tenancy they are within their legal right to turn them down and deny them housing. A landlord is not required by law to rent to tenants that they perceive are mentally unfit to live in their rental.
  • Appearance/Personal Hygiene: If a prospective tenant’s personal hygiene does not conform to the standards established by a landlord for tenancy they are within their legal right to turn them down and deny them housing. A landlord is not required by law to rent to tenants that they perceive are trashy and unfit to live in their rental.
  • Standard of Existing Living Conditions: If a prospective tenant’s existing living condition does not conform to the standards established by a landlord for tenancy they are within their legal right to turn them down and deny them housing. A landlord is not required by law to rent to tenants that they perceive are unkempt and unfit to live in their rental.
  • Illegal DrugsIf a prospective tenant’s behavior or actions indicates suspected illegal drug use and this does not conform to the standards established by a landlord for a drug-free tenancy they are within their legal right to turn them down and deny them housing. A landlord is not required by law to rent to tenants that they perceive are possible drug addicts and unfit to live in their rental.
  • Standards of Safety: If a prospective tenant’s behavior or actions indicate suspected violent tendencies and this does not conform to the safety standards established by the landlord for tenancy, they are within their legal right to deny them housing. A landlord is not required by law to rent to tenants that they perceive are violent and unfit to live in their rental.If you’re a landlord looking for a quality cash paying or government sponsored tenant please contact us so we can review your predetermined tenant standards &  view your rental and see if it is a right fit for our well screened tenants.

    If you’re a landlord looking for a quality cash paying or government sponsored tenant please contact us so we can review your predetermined tenant standards & view your rental and see if it is a right fit for our well screened tenants.

    Find  Quality Tenants Now 

    CONTACT RKR

 

 

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