Fair housing during the pandemic

Believe it or not, the pandemic era we're currently living in could be the best reason yet to hire a property management company.

In a time where laws are changing quickly, it's smart to cover all your bases as a landlord. Utilizing the services of a property management company like PMI Patron can help provide peace of mind.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives. Landlords are no exception. Many individuals are struggling to pay the rent after losing a job or hours. To prevent mass evictions, state and federal lawmakers have passed legislation to protect renters. Though well-intentioned, these new laws can negatively affect property owners and their businesses.

Heather Crislip, CEO of Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), summed it best when she said, “I think it’s a moment when landlords should pay attention to the Fair Housing Act because life just isn’t on autopilot and they need to remind themselves of the parameters we have all agreed to in the housing market.”

Her cautionary words were sparked by a lawsuit between HOME and a landlord in Richmond, Virginia. The landlord was sued for discriminating against renters with disabilities and those with small children. Crislip says that this kind of action has become more prevalent during the pandemic.

The lawsuit was settled but at great cost to the landlord. They were banned from being a landlord for five years, agreed to sell all their current rental properties, had to pay $25,000 to HOME, and had to take mandatory fair housing training.

Crislip feels the repercussions, in this case, were fair. In addition, she hopes that other landlords will use it as a lesson. If you aren't familiar with fair-housing laws in your area, take the time to learn. Ignorance isn't an excuse for breaking the law. Plus, even a small mistake could result in hefty fines or other penalties.

One of the easiest ways to avoid potential problems like these is to team up with an experienced property management company. Not only will a property management company assist in maintaining the interior and exterior of the home, they are also responsible for helping place tenants into your rental properties.

An experienced property management company like PMI Patron can find the right tenants for you and make sure you are abiding by all the ins and outs of fair housing laws throughout the process.