6 Tips for First-Time Landlords: From Marketing to Lease Signing

Becoming a landlord for the first time can be an exciting venture. However, it comes with its fair share of responsibilities, especially when it comes to adhering to US fair housing laws. These laws are in place to ensure that every tenant is treated fairly and without discrimination.

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In this blog, we will explore six essential tips for first-time landlords, focusing on maintaining compliance with US Fair Housing regulations throughout the process.

Tips for First-Time Landlords:

  1. Know the Basics of Fair Housing Laws:

You should familiarize yourself with US fair housing laws before becoming a landlord. This law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. Understanding these protected classes is essential to avoid legal trouble and uphold fair housing standards.

  1. Create a Fair and Non-Discriminatory Marketing Plan:

Your marketing efforts must reflect a commitment to fair housing, that is why you need the right marketing strategy in place. You should avoid using language or advertising that could be seen as discriminatory or exclusive. For example, phrases like “perfect for families” might imply a preference for families over other groups, which is against fair housing regulations. Instead, focus on the features of the property rather than the potential tenants.

  1. Implement a Consistent Tenant Screening Process:

When evaluating prospective tenants, apply a consistent tenant screening process that treats all applicants equally. This includes checking credit histories, and rental histories, and conducting background checks consistently. Avoid making exceptions or discriminatory judgments based on personal biases.

  1. Provide Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities:

Under the Fair Housing Act, landlords are required to provide reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities. If a tenant requests a reasonable accommodation, such as a wheelchair ramp or an assistance animal, be prepared to engage in an interactive process to evaluate and implement the request, if it is reasonable and feasible. Denying such requests without proper consideration can lead to legal consequences.

  1. Draft Fair and Compliant Lease Agreements:

Your lease agreement is a legally binding contract that should not contain any discriminatory clauses or provisions. Ensure that your lease agreement adheres to fair housing laws and does not infringe on the rights of protected classes. Seek legal counsel if necessary to review and revise your lease agreement to ensure compliance.

  1. Train Your Staff and Property Managers:

If you have property management staff, it’s crucial to provide them with training on fair housing compliance. Ensure that everyone involved in the rental process, including property managers, understands the fair housing laws and your commitment to following them. Regular training sessions can help prevent unintentional violations.


Becoming a landlord is a significant undertaking, and ensuring compliance with US fair housing laws is a vital part of the process. By familiarizing yourself with these laws, adopting a fair and non-discriminatory approach to marketing, implementing a consistent tenant screening process, providing reasonable accommodations for disabilities, drafting compliant lease agreements, and training your staff, you can navigate the world of landlording successfully while upholding the principles of fair housing. Remember, maintaining compliance with fair housing laws isn’t just a legal requirement – it’s the right thing to do and a cornerstone of responsible property management in the United States.

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