Fair Housing laws prohibit discrimination just as much when putting a property up for rent as it does for sale. Lenders must follow strict anti-discrimination statutes and cannot turn down or refuse to accept a mortgage application based upon race, color, religious affiliation or lack thereof, national origin, gender, age, having children,
marital status or sexual orientation.

Landlords must follow the very same standards and cannot be used to turn down a prospective tenant. Yet there are times when a landlord may in fact turn down an application that has nothing to do the  ability to afford the rent. When can a landlord choose who they want to lease to as long as they apply those standards to all applicants and do not violate Faiwhen landlords discriminater Housing laws.

For example, a landlord can discriminate against smokers. If a tenant smokes, the landlord can decline the lease application, regardless of the credit standing or income of the applicant. Landlords can also discriminate against people with pets. Again, as long as the very same standards are applied universally to all applicants, the landlord can set any reasonable standard.

Applicants who “fudge” their lease application can be turned down, even if the real information is sufficient to qualify for the lease. If a potential renter needs to make about $3,000 per month to qualify for the lease but puts down $3,500 or $4,000, that’s a lie. Landlords will find out how much tenants make by looking at a pay check stub and verifying that information directly with the employer. A landlord who discovers information about the applicant is simply not true, the individual can’t be trusted. Will the renter pay the rent on time as promised? Falsehoods on an application would certainly indicate so.

Landlords don’t make money unless they rent and the questions they ask aren’t to keep the unit vacant or to reduce the number of potential applicants but to steer clear of any potential problems down the road while maintaining the condition of the unit.