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A successful for rent by owner business is always based on having positive cash flow, low vacancy rates, and responsible tenants that take care of the property. But there is more to it when you get into the for rent by owner business. One place that you can easily get tripped up if you don’t understand the laws is with the fair housing laws. Here are some of the frequently asked questions you should have the answers to before you go into the “for rent by owner” business.EqualHousing

Q1. What does the Fair Housing Act prohibit?

  1. No for rent by owner may take the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or handicap:
  • Refuse to rent housing.
  • Refuse to negotiate to rent housing.
  • Make housing unavailable.
  • Set different terms, conditions, or privileges for the rental of housing.
  • Provide different housing services or facilities.
  • Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection or rent.
  • Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service related to the rental.

What Else Do For Rent By Owner Landlords Need to Know About Fair Housing Laws?

  1. What else are for rent by owners prohibited from doing?
  2. A for rent by owner businessperson may not threaten, coerce, intimidate or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others who exercise that right. Additionally, a for rent by owner operator may not advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or handicap. This prohibition against
    discriminatory advertising applies to single-family and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act.


For Rent By Owner Landlords Have Additional Responsibilities to the Disabled

Q3. Are there additional protections for disabled people?

  1. Yes, if a tenant or potential tenant has a physical or mental disability (including hearing, mobility, visual impairments, chronic alcoholism, chronic mental illness, AIDS, AIDS Related Complex, and mental retardation) that substantially limits one or more major life activities:
  • Have a record of such a disability or
  • Are regarded as having such a disability

As a for rent by owner landlord you may not:

  • Refuse to let you make reasonable modifications to your dwelling or common use areas, at their expense, if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing. (Where reasonable, the landlord may permit changes only if the tenant agrees to restore the property to its original condition when they move.)
  • Refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing.

For example, even when a for sale by owner landlord has a no pets policy, he or she must allow a visually impaired tenant to keep a guide dog.

There are additional requirements at the federal, state, and local level that you need to comply with as a for rent by owner landlord.

If you want to work directly with me on the for rent by owner business model or any of the other investing models that have proven highly profitable, please join me at

Besides reading this article about being a for rent by owner business operator, you’ll want to read this other useful information that I offer free. Please take advantage of it today.

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Several times each week, I make the most current real estate investing information available to readers. This time, it’s about the for rent by owner investing model but the information I provide changes constantly to stay current with the market. Be sure to check back at: Also, get started learning how to do NO CASH lease options on real estate by picking up a copy of my bestseller book: Investing in Real Estate with Lease Options and Subject-to Deals.

By Wendy Patton

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