Are you now required to rent to criminals?

Are you now required to rent to criminalsIf you own rental property or are thinking about it, then you should read this story.

Sher Powers, real estate investor and broker/owner of Urbane Residential Specialist, recently brought up this point due to recent changes at HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development).   Sher is wicked smart and dialed into the investor community in Nashville. 

So when she brings up a concern, I listen. 

Now, the government has not issued any new laws, but HUD has produced new “guidelines” of legal obligations for landlords.  They were designed to help landlords avoid Fair Housing violations by not accepting any tenant applications from people with criminal records. 

These guidelines do not mean that you are required to rent to people who are felons; however, it does require that you establish your rules in writing and be consistent in applying those rules to renters and in your advertising. 

I am not an attorney.  If you are concerned about these new guidelines, I highly recommend that you speak with a real estate attorney who is well versed in the laws surrounding rental properties. 

The following suggestions were offered by another real estate investor who has established similar rules for her business.

  • No violent or drug related felony convictions
  • No crimes against children
  • No arson convictions
  • No felonies committed within a specific time period
  • No incarcerations for felonies within a specific time period
  • No crimes against landlords or rental properties

You may have similar rules in place for your business.  This would be a good time to review your policies with your attorney and make sure they are in line with the new guidelines. 

If you would like to check and don’t know where to turn, then let us know so we cannot connect you with some of the best real estate attorneys in Middle Tennessee. 

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