Are You Discriminating Unintentionally?

Property Management Blog

Being a landlord can be tricky at times. On the one hand, landlords need to be neutral and unbiased and on the other hand, they are expected to be friendly and cooperative. You never know when you have stepped on a landmine in the battlefield with your behavior and actions. There are many touchy tenants who can misunderstand you and believe you are discriminating against them when you have no ill intentions in your mind.

Being too helpful can be misconstrued

It is a fact that human beings are by nature helpful and they feel good by solving the problems of others. In fact, being nice is one of the many ways individuals mingle and interact with each other. However, you need to be careful when being very helpful as you can be misunderstood and accused of being discriminatory. Here are some examples that prove how being honest and helpful can land you into trouble as a landlord.

Leading to a home with more bedrooms

When you come to know that the family has several kids or parents will be living with them, it is natural for you to suggest 3-4-bedroom apartments to them. You do this without any wrong intentions and only because you want to be helpful. But it is possible that the family might accuse you of leading them to a specific property just because they have more family members. You have not said a word about their family status, yet you find yourself in an awkward situation.

You will get more privacy in this apartment

If you believe your prospective tenant is searching for more privacy, you start suggesting an apartment at the top floor or the one at the end of the hall. You are trying to be helpful by suggesting apartments that you believe are quieter than other vacant apartments in your property. However, your helpful advice can be taken in a negative way by the tenant thinking you are trying to keep them away from others because of their small kids.

Homes in this building might be more suitable for your requirements

By looking at the size and requirements of the family, you suggest a home in another building in your possession might be more suitable. However, be careful when suggesting a unit in another neighborhood as it can easily be misinterpreted as a way to steer the tenant to a particular property. Many tenants start to ask themselves why their landlord is trying to steer them to a property in another neighborhood. They may think it is because of their ethnicity, or the color of the skin.

Suggesting a unit based upon price range

It is natural for a landlord to be suggesting units based upon the income level of a prospective tenant. This information is furnished by the tenant in the screening form and there is nothing wrong in directing a tenant to a unit that he can easily afford. But there are many tenants who get offended by such a suggestion and start crying foul.

Give advice only when they ask for it

You are a human being first before being a landlord. So, it is natural for you to be helpful towards your prospective tenants. But your good intention advice can be easily misconstrued by a sensitive tenant. It is prudent to keep your advice to yourself until a prospective tenant specifically asks for it. In fact, you are better off if you give information about all your properties without steering your tenants to a particular location or unit. The best practice for landlords is to allow tenants to choose a unit that they think is best suited to their budget and requirements.

If you’d like to talk more about property management, or you need help with Everest Property Management, please contact us at Everest Realty. 

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