When you own a rental property in Livermore, you quickly realize that there is no single source of regulations. Every agency and every government level seems to want to get into a portion of your business.
Property Management Laws and Regulations
Cities, counties, state, and federal organizations all have their own regulations, and there are also organizations created by counties such as the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. All of these agencies seem to have lots of people writing lots and lots of regulations. So you come up with the Code of Civil Procedures, health and safety codes, fire codes, etc. You are expected to comply with all of them. Even if you feel you’re in full compliance, you may not be.
There’s an item in recent years called Disparate Impact, which landlords and Livermore property management companies need to be aware of. That’s where an action you take has an effect on one of the protected classes. You didn’t set out to violate their civil rights, but statistically they can prove you did so. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) determined the newest likelihood of Disparate Impact can occur with the use of felony conviction records to deny people housing. So, if you’re asking on your application if a person was convicted of a felony and they answer yes, you could be breaking the law if you deny them the property solely based on that answer.
You might wonder how they come up with this. It turns out the government incarcerates more minorities than they do majorities, so if you’re using their convictions against them, there are more minorities that will be affected. So, you can still screen felons based upon your rental criteria, but whether they are convicted of a felony should not be a deciding factor. If you use that as a deciding factor, the government can fine you. Some property management companies have been fined substantially for this. So, carefully review your application criteria and use only those things germane to that person and your criteria.
If you have any questions about Disparate Impact or property management in Livermore, please contact us at AVR Properties, and we’d be happy to tell you more.
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- Ken Bradley
- ken Bradley