Discrimination (by JKJ [MA]) Mar 21, 2019 9:05 PM|
Discrimination (by Moshe [CA]) Mar 21, 2019 9:24 PM
Discrimination (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Mar 21, 2019 10:11 PM
Discrimination (by Robert J [CA]) Mar 21, 2019 10:17 PM
Discrimination (by Steve [MA]) Mar 22, 2019 3:35 AM
Discrimination (by plenty [MO]) Mar 22, 2019 4:15 AM
Discrimination (by Still Learning [NH]) Mar 22, 2019 4:42 AM
Discrimination (by Ken [NY]) Mar 22, 2019 4:47 AM
Discrimination (by S i d [MO]) Mar 22, 2019 5:45 AM
Discrimination (by David [MI]) Mar 22, 2019 6:26 AM
Discrimination (by David [MI]) Mar 22, 2019 6:31 AM
Discrimination (by Busy [WI]) Mar 22, 2019 7:26 AM
Discrimination (by AllyM [NJ]) Mar 22, 2019 7:34 AM
Discrimination (by nhsailmaker [NH]) Mar 22, 2019 7:41 AM
Discrimination (by 6x6 [TN]) Mar 22, 2019 7:42 AM
Discrimination (by J [FL]) Mar 22, 2019 7:42 AM
Discrimination (by 6x6 [TN]) Mar 22, 2019 7:58 AM
Discrimination (by Tom [IL]) Mar 22, 2019 8:04 AM
Discrimination (by RentsDue [MA]) Mar 22, 2019 8:07 AM
Discrimination (by Busy [WI]) Mar 22, 2019 8:20 AM
Discrimination (by Mike SWMO [MO]) Mar 22, 2019 8:31 AM
Discrimination (by J [FL]) Mar 22, 2019 8:33 AM
Discrimination (by 6x6 [TN]) Mar 22, 2019 8:43 AM
Discrimination (by J [FL]) Mar 22, 2019 8:54 AM
Discrimination (by 6x6 [TN]) Mar 22, 2019 9:04 AM
Discrimination (by Steve [MA]) Mar 22, 2019 9:18 AM
Discrimination (by J [FL]) Mar 22, 2019 9:19 AM
Discrimination (by Moshe [CA]) Mar 22, 2019 9:37 AM
Discrimination (by 6x6 [TN]) Mar 22, 2019 9:50 AM
Discrimination (by Moshe [CA]) Mar 22, 2019 10:29 AM
Discrimination (by GKARL [PA]) Mar 22, 2019 11:35 AM
Discrimination (by Small potatoes [NY]) Mar 22, 2019 3:17 PM
Discrimination (by Moshe [CA]) Mar 22, 2019 3:38 PM
Discrimination (by J [FL]) Mar 22, 2019 3:39 PM
Discrimination (by JKJ [MA]) Mar 22, 2019 4:28 PM
Discrimination (by JR [ME]) Mar 22, 2019 5:02 PM
Discrimination (by Moshe [CA]) Mar 22, 2019 5:56 PM
Discrimination (by Busy [WI]) Mar 22, 2019 6:28 PM
Discrimination (by GKARL [PA]) Mar 22, 2019 6:47 PM
Discrimination (by Ken [NY]) Mar 22, 2019 8:26 PM
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Discrimination (by JKJ [MA]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2019 9:05 PM
Ok here’s situation, I have a 2 family house that I live in with my family and rent the other unit. I am currently showing the apartment and have had a few people come for a showing I have received applications from 2 people and after the background and credit check I chose not to rent to them. I recently got a voicemail from someone interested in the apartment so I email the pre-screening questions to him. Based on his answers to those questions I decide I won’t be renting to him so I did as I have had suggested to me on here, which is to simply not reply to him any further. Now he is calling and accusing me of racial discrimination (he’s black) I have denied other applicants that were white for similar reasons. My reason to not rent to him is he has a criminal record that he didn’t disclose and his credit is not good. My question is how do I handle this, ignore him and deal with any discrimination complaints I may/may not get, or do I show him the apartment have him fill out an application and then deny him. My concern is even if I show him the unit, he is still going to file a discrimination complaint if he don’t rent to him. --71.248.xxx.xxx
Discrimination (by Moshe [CA]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2019 9:24 PM
He complains of racial discrimination because he did not receive appropriate attention. Suppose that a landlord ignored black applicants, while ultimately renting to a white applicant. Do you think that would constitute a systematic course of action representing discrimination? I think that maybe yes.
Thats the trouble with the suggestion to ignore his application if you don't want to rent to him. I would instead give every applicant the attention that he is due: Polite treatment, a showing, an application and a written response.
Your way, you look bad, you have lost the initiative to respond to the application on your own terms. Any response now would be looked at as if it were made-to-order to create a defensible rejection. I would have sent him a denial letter carefully though out.
You might want to send him now a denial letter which spells out your criteria and how he failed to meet your requirements, but be sure to have a well-thought-out written criteria in your records and be sure to apply it consistently from now on.
Discrimination (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2019 10:11 PM
He might be blowing smoke but you cannot rely on that. Alwaus ACT AS IF you are going to be sued. He has 2 years to file a complaint.
Me? The less you say the better. EVERY word you utter or put in print WILL be used against you.
“Everyone is welcome to apply”
Then a simple email or text “The office did not approve your application.”
If he persists “For more information send a self addressed stamped envelope. “
If you denied based on a credit report by law you must msend the offical credit report letter. If not YOU could be in big trouble.
Another reason we don’t answer the phone or meet them prior to pre-approval - we cannot see them while screening. I don’t know their color, ethnicity, creed, etc.
Like a duck stay cool and calm on tje surface but paddle like crazy under the surface by documenting EVERY contact and communication with this person.
Do NOT talk to him. LLs get sued for what they SAY.
Discrimination (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2019 10:17 PM
What I have always done is create a list of requirement for each property I own. Then before I'm going to market a unit, I take a copy of my requirements and have it notarized. This way I can prove to the "powers that be" that I had a valid reason to turn down an applicant for something other than their credit.
In one case an applicant drove a motorcycle. He came to the property and left it gunning his engine, making tons of noise. He also worked the late shift and could return home during the sleeping hours. I turned him down due to his motorcycle -- driving it up and down the driveway would wake up my other 15 units with infants, children and the elderly. --47.156.xx.xx
Discrimination (by Steve [MA]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 3:35 AM
IMO you have treated this potential applicant different than others by eliminating him with the prescreening & not allowing him the opportunity to have a complete application. In the future you would be better off letting everyone who asks for one an application to given them one.
How do you know if this person actually has an undisclosed criminal record & not good credit? If it was because of the answers to his "pre-screening questions", how could you properly screen him without a SS# & a signed release form? The info you checked could be for another "John Smith".
If you haven't already done so, I strongly recommend that you develop a set of written criteria for this unit. Once you have it you will be able to start properly processing applications from prospective renters. I find that once I start to verify the info they have submitted, it usually confirms my gut reaction to our first contact. How well they meet your criteria should enable you to establish a ranking system for selecting the best qualified applicant for your property.
I start my screening process from the very first contact whether it's a phone call, text, walk by, Email, etc. Even if as a result of this initial contact my gut tells me NO WAY would I rent to them, I at least allow them the opportunity to fill out an application. In most cases there is usually unverifiable, untrue info or incomplete info on their application which will give me a valid reason to not accept them at this time.
A quick Google search yielded this;
Within limits, the owner has the ability to discriminate against a potential tenant. Under Massachusetts law, when the apartment complex is a two-family unit and the owner lives in one of the units, major discrimination laws do not apply. An owner could deny the rental opportunity to a tenant because of gender, age, disability, or number of children. This is only permissible for an owner-occupied two-family dwelling. The full extent of discrimination laws are applied if the dwelling includes more than two units. Under no circumstances can the owner of a two-family unit discriminate based on race or color.
You might want to do a bit more research on this.
Discrimination (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 4:15 AM
How do you know he hasxa criminal record? Does he have a common name? --99.203.xx.xx
Discrimination (by Still Learning [NH]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 4:42 AM
I think Steve gave you great advice. I would print His prescreening answers, write on it why the person doesn’t match your prescreening questions and file it somewhere in case this ever popped back up. Did this person tell you their credit score and criminal history as part of the pre-screening or were you googling a name? I do deny people who have submitted an application and depending on the person, I call, text, email or mail and let them know. Always mail the fair credit denial letter if you pulled a credit report and that is the reason for the denial. It’s not easy, but I believe in giving someone the courtesy of a response. --24.61.xxx.xx
Discrimination (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 4:47 AM
This is a 2 family that the owner lives in,as I understand it he can decsriminate for any reason against anyone.Is this correct or not? --72.231.xxx.xxx
Discrimination (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 5:45 AM
Owner occupied rentals have MUCH more freedom and CAN discriminate (legally) in certain instances. Find the law and learn about it. I don't think it would cover you in THIS scenario, but since this will be your long-term strategy for land lording you should know FHA forwards and backwards.
I'm glad your learned from us about not replying to denied applicants. Have you learned part 2 of that strategy, which is BLOCK CALLS & TEXTS? My guess is "No" since you're still hearing the chatter from him threatening you. Once you are done communicating with someone, there is no reason to allow them to fill up your Inbox/Voicemail.
Do what Brad says: have him mail you a self-addressed, stamped envelope, then BLOCK ALL CONTACT immediately. Don't even wait for him to respond to that offer. Phones and email are a convenience, not a Constitutional Right. As long as you block ALL denied applicants and require ALL denied applicants to send an envelope, you have done your duty by the FHA to treat all applicants the same. --173.20.xxx.xxx
Discrimination (by David [MI]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 6:26 AM
Ha! I follow sid's rule in his last sentence. I promptly hangup on anyone who doesn't pass my phone sentence. As long as I am rude to everyone, it is not discrimination.
I have gotten a few zillow reviews that complain that I hang up on them. I am working on submitting a reply that says I have to , because of FHA --144.250.xx.xx
Discrimination (by David [MI]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 6:31 AM
that would be, my phone screening --144.250.xx.xx
Discrimination (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 7:26 AM
Nice of you to blame this forum. One of the most frequently posted pieces of advice I see on this forum is ‘ Know YOUR state’s laws (and municipal laws, if they have additional laws,) develop your written criteria based upon those laws, and apply it evenly.
Another piece of advice I see offered on this forum: join the local landlord or apartment association. My local association offers an excellent ‘bootcamp’ with a full day of training. Also, my city offers free landlord training classes.
We’re not the ones on the phone with your applicants. How you ask questions, what comments you make, we don’t know. You and I have had discussion before about the fact that you don’t accept Section 8 / other forms of voucher payments. In my area,I need to accept Section 8 according to recent law changes, so, that doesn’t mean I should come up with some goofy work around to avoid it, it means accept it.
Denial of an applicant based upon credit requires a written letter of denial. This is Federal law, there is no just not answering the phone, based upon advice you got on a public forum. However, I don’t know how one could have the credit report without getting SSN and a signature? So, maybe it wasn’t credit, I don’t know....Denial based upon criminal record may or may not be legal in your area, and the state laws are usually created based on disparate impact that using criminal record has upon minorities. So, yes, you may have discriminated based upon race, depending upon how you applied your screening criteria, even if some denied were not minorities.
I suggest you get training from your city, your state, your local apartment association. Strangers on the internet aren’t experts in your area laws. --70.92.xxx.xxx
Discrimination (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 7:34 AM
Uh, did you all miss the part where he says he lives in the building? He can discriminate for any reason since he lives there and he does not need to make a big deal out of this since IT'S HIS HOME. This caller must be a tester. I would reply and say the home is off the market temporarily because of a repair issue. Then repair something and don't put another ad in this week. I don't know how to word "I live there and you don't fit my criteria" in a politically correct way other than just say it. Or tell him he did not pass the pre screening and simply leave it there. He can't hurt you. YOU live in the building --173.61.xxx.xx
Discrimination (by nhsailmaker [NH]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 7:41 AM
the cost of doing business in Taxachusetts is to have a Lawyer on Retainer and use him for every decision you do not inherently know the answer.
This advice is unique to Taxachusetts
Do NOT skip in this area as the Socialist Republic of Taxachusetts is indeed evil and they are out to get you
You know inherently know that is true unless you have lived there less than a week --73.182.xxx.xxx
Discrimination (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 7:42 AM
I think you have gotten some great advice on here.
You probably should let anyone fill out an application who wants to and then you have all of the proper information(if they didn't lie)to do a proper back ground and credit check. MYOB does a great job at making money on applications. As StillLearning said if you deny based on credit you have to send a letter(I forget what it is called).
Brad also has good advice about watching what you say and like he said “For more information send a self addressed stamped envelope. “
As others have said keep a copy of all correspondence to all.
I am also curious as to how you got his criminal and credit? Is it the right person because you don't have all his information do you? --73.120.xx.xxx
Discrimination (by J [FL]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 7:42 AM
"Thats the trouble with the suggestion to ignore his application if you don't want to rent to him. I would instead give every applicant the attention that he is due: Polite treatment, a showing, an application and a written response."
It's not realistic to give a showing to every person who contacts you.
Discrimination (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 7:58 AM
David, that is funny. I am not sure if that would hold up in court though.
nhsailmaker, I take it you used to live in MA?
AllyM, I think certain discrimination laws still apply.
JKJ, read up on all your state and local laws. Now is a good time. --73.120.xx.xxx
Discrimination (by Tom [IL]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 8:04 AM
I would check the law to see if you have exceptions to Fair Housing rules because you are occuping the building. There are exceptions for some OWNER OCCUPIED status. --107.197.xx.xx
Discrimination (by RentsDue [MA]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 8:07 AM
My understanding is that you sent him a prescreening and based on that prescreening you did not reply to him because he does not qualify due to criminal history and credit. If I understand it correctly, you never met him so how would you know he is black ? If he casually added that unsolicited information to his prescreening answers that is a whole different thing. --174.199.xx.x
Discrimination (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 8:20 AM
Ally M, not sure if he lives there covers everything anymore. I have never had owner occupied rentals, but, laws from even a few years ago might not apply anymore. Or, perhaps the wording would be lack of laws from a few years ago might not apply anymore. Jkj needs to KNOW, not guess at the laws for his/her state, city, municipality, and apply those as they pertain to his situation, including the fact that it is owner-occupied. Then there can be confidentce that his/her process is legal. Even then, it needs to be documented well.
Discrimination (by Mike SWMO [MO]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 8:31 AM
I think I read on here a while back someone posted that when the LL has the potential tenant, who is requiring/demanding/requesting denial information, to send a self-addressed stamped envelope the LL also has the potential tenant enclose a copy of their state identification, such as a driver’s license. You know, for verification and quality control.
Tenant. I demand that you send me information as to why you rejected me.
LL. Sure, fine, I will be glad to send you SOMETHING. Just provide me with a SASE with your written request along with a copy of your current driver’s license. You know for verification and control. (LL to self. When received check spelling of name, DOB, address on license against application).
Or just ignore.
Discrimination (by J [FL]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 8:33 AM
Could someone please explain the reasoning behind the SASE, since it's not required by law? Why not just block all contact with them after you've told them them they were not approved? --72.188.xxx.xxx
Discrimination (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 8:43 AM
J, I am not positive but I think when one ask or demands for a reason why you have to tell them. If I understand correctly this is the safest way and legal way to do so. It also allows you time to make sure all of you ducks are in a row while following the law by providing them with an answer as to why they were denied. It seems to me that in most cases that the applicant never follows through, thus keeping you legal in offering an answer but ending the problem.
I am glad you asked. It will be interesting to see what someone with more knowledge has to say. --73.120.xx.xxx
Discrimination (by J [FL]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 8:54 AM
6X6 you only have to provide a reason if you denied based on the credit report. --72.188.xxx.xxx
Discrimination (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 9:04 AM
You may be right but I thought if they demanded a reason you had to provide one. --73.120.xx.xxx
Discrimination (by Steve [MA]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 9:18 AM
J[FL], Could someone please explain the reasoning behind the SASE, since it's not required by law? Most people are too lazy to take the effort to do this. This means they end up denying themselves without any further action by you. Of course you should also block their number after you make this request. --96.237.xx.xx
Discrimination (by J [FL]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 9:19 AM
OK thanks Steve. --72.188.xxx.xxx
Discrimination (by Moshe [CA]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 9:37 AM
" It's not realistic to give a showing to every person who contacts you "
No, but the present situation regarding discrimination complaints is itself sir-realistic. It (the situation) is there, right-or-wrong, it is serious, and it is necessary to deal with it.
You need to treat each applicant the same, up to the point that you decide that he has failed your criteria. At that point, it is necessary (while still treating him politely and fairly) to be professional, advise him of his status and to document what has happened.
I see advice suggesting that you do not need to reply to a rejected applicant. I don't advise that. I believe that such thoughts reflect the landlord's desire to put himself above the applicant, boost landlod's own ego, and an insecurity about his (landlord's) own ability to discuss and defend his decisions. But thats not the best objective. The best objective here is to develop a method to stay out of trouble in a situation where landlord has less control than he might and unfair presumptions that can work to his serious disadvantage. The best way to do that is to develop GOOD criteria for accepting/rejecting tenants, follow the criteria closely, treat all applicants honestly and fairly, and follow up in a thoroughly professional manner.
Worrying about how your written point of view may hurt you means that landlord is insecure that he cannot defend his point of view. The solution to that is not "don't worry" but to understand what you are doing and why, and to make good, professional decisions with the confidence that a good, professional decision is its own good defense.
Landlord is not required by law to give a tenant an answer just because tenant asked, but not to do so is a violation of the laws of professionalism, and it will be seen in just that light. Any application deserves an honest and straightforward answer. If you don't have a good answer, maybe it is the decision that wansn't good.
Discrimination (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 9:50 AM
Moshe, thank you for your point and explanation on that.
In this case the prospect got rejected by pre screening and had not turned in an application. Would you have taken an application first before denying anyone or do you deny any on prescreening? --73.120.xx.xxx
Discrimination (by Moshe [CA]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 10:29 AM
If you are sure that the applicant won't qualify for your requirements, then why expend more resources on him? Does he have any rights that you have overlooked?
But once you have decided to reject him, you should follow through and wind up his application with professional treatment without giving him further encouragement.
Discrimination (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 11:35 AM
I would not show him the unit if he didn't get pass the pre-screen. I would handle it as suggested. Tell him to provide a self addressed envelop so you can mail him the reasons for rejection. I have a statement on my pre-screening form that they must do that if they wish to know the reason for rejection. Make him do some work and he'll go away. I agree with others who say pre-screening without talking to or seeing them, puts the brakes on a lot of this nonsense. --64.121.xxx.xxx
Discrimination (by Small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 3:17 PM
In my pre-screening process I collect email addresses. If an applicant does not meet the criteria I write them referring back to the data they provided and cite their data as the reason for denial. If someone seems questionable but meets the criteria I offer to show and look for faults and depend on the full screening process.
Just had a prospect today who filled out the pre-screening form and meets the criteria. When I look them up they were arrested for shop lifting at 18, 5 years ago. Ideal candidate, no matter o but they meet the minimum criteria on paper. --24.194.xx.xx
Discrimination (by Moshe [CA]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 3:38 PM
What is important to your process, sm pot, is not the mechanics but the fact that an applicant gets equal consideration for the rental, he gets due consideration for his qualifications, and he gets, not ignored, but a decision about his application and a documented reason for the decision. Thats all that is expected from a landlord. If LL rejected an applicant for a good reason, he has nothing to fear. If it was for a not-such-a-good reason, well, maybe its the decision that was wrong and not the documentation.
Discrimination (by J [FL]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 3:39 PM
"I see advice suggesting that you do not need to reply to a rejected applicant. I don't advise that. I believe that such thoughts reflect the landlord's desire to put himself above the applicant, boost landlod's own ego, and an insecurity about his (landlord's) own ability to discuss and defend his decisions. But thats not the best objective."
I'm not interested in boosting my own ego. I don't want to get into discussions of why someone was not approved because at that point a lot of them try to spin a story that something (eviction, usually) never happened, or wasn't their fault. And sometimes they get nasty when they see you're not going to budge.
Most of the these people are well aware of why they are being turned down and there's no upside to defend one's decision with them. They could have been upfront from the beginning instead of concealing things if they're concerned about about wasting their application fees. --72.188.xxx.xxx
Discrimination (by JKJ [MA]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 4:28 PM
I ended up sending him an email telling him I sorry he feels that way but that is not the case. If he would like to know the reason for my rejection he should mail me a postage paid self addressed envelope and I will mail him my decision and how I came to that conclusion, then I blocked him. For those that asked, the reason I knew he had bad credit and a felony conviction is he told me in the pre-screening questionnaire he filled out. He answered “yes” when asked if he is a convicted felon, and for credit score he wrote “not good” not even a number. Rentsdue, I know he’s black even though I never met him from the message he left saying “your discriminating against me because I’m black. Also for those that suggested it, I already have in writing my requirements in writing and had it notarized at the bank. I did that immediately after it was suggested to me by someone when I asked another question. Busy, I wasn’t blaming the forum and I’m sorry if that’s how it came across, I was just explaining that I was taking advice I received here and applying it in my screening process. Thank you everyone for the suggestions and advice. --71.248.xxx.xxx
Discrimination (by JR [ME]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 5:02 PM
There is a special place in hell for those who falsely accuse others of racial discrimination. Pass. --98.13.xx.xxx
Discrimination (by Moshe [CA]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 5:56 PM
At least you know where to send a denial letter.
Discrimination (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 6:28 PM
Sorry, jkj. I can be a bit hot-headed. Sounds like you handled the response well.
Moshe, that was good. --70.92.xxx.xxx
Discrimination (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 6:47 PM
I don't bother sending out denials, but I will often cut and paste links to their court records in messenger or via text with no comments. I just did this today for someone who filled out the pre-screen saying he had no criminal record and had never been evicted when in fact he has an ongoing LL/Tenant case coming up and had previous possession and DUI charges. I just sent him the links to the stuff and said nothing else. I suspect this person is frustrated because he's been denied several times for the same reasons.
I've been cursed out a couple of times when denying people. Pre-screening without talking to them prevents all of that. I'm guessing 90% don't even respond to the pre-screen request knowing they won't pass.
Discrimination (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2019 8:26 PM
I just ignore the losers,i don't care if it is professional or not,i have better things to do than talk to people all day who I am not going to rent to --72.231.xxx.xxx
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