When preparing for the rental application process, there are many things a property manager can ask for that might look unfamiliar. Property managers will often choose what reports to run so that they can verify your credibility as a reliable renter. While they are looking through various aspects of you rental history, it is important to also understand your rights as a tenant and which reasons a property manager can deny your application.
Under the Fair Housing Act, a landlord cannot reject your application based on race, religion, ethnic background or nationality, gender, age, family status or disabilities. However, they can use credit scores, income minimums or references that could indicate irresponsibility to reject an application. These criteria are allowed to reject an application based upon a landlords desire to enforce on-time rent payments and general upkeep of their property. Additionally, landlords can enforce rules not enforced by the government, such as pet ownership, noise restrictions, and smoking within the residence.
Once you’ve cleared the background check and are preparing to sign your contract, don’t forget that there are rights you have now tenant. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a list for each state that can help you ensure you are being treated fairly by your landlord and what to do if you believe something is not quite right.
Check out these resources to learn more about the rental application process and rights as a tenant:
- www.privacyrights.org/consumer-guides/renters- guide-tenant-privacy-rights
By: Sarah Kessler