People always insist they don’t discriminate, but the reality is that many of us have been guilty of it without even realising it. Discrimination is an issue that anyone working in property management needs to be familiar with. As property managers and lLandlords, you have a legal obligation to not discriminate against prospective tenants. Understandably, you might have preferences around who you would like to reside in your property. Previous experience might influence your thinking on prospective tenants, but it’s important to focus on what really matters – and the law – when selecting tenants. Asking yourself the following questions is a good place to start:
- Can the prospective tenant prove that they can afford the property?
- Is the number of people suitable to reside in the property?
- Can they maintain the property and grounds?
- Can you verify the information that they have given you in their application?
- Do you have references that check out positively?
By law you must not discriminate against someone on the basis of their race or skin colour,, their employment status, their sexuality or religion, or whether or not they have children. Special care must be taken when declining a tenant’s application and it’s often best to simply say, “unfortunately, your application has not been accepted at this time” rather than offer an explanation.
It’s important to remember that the landlord/agent references they supply to prove their previous history.