San Diego is a thriving city full of exciting real estate opportunities. But for many property owners in the area, the idea of going through a property management company in San Diego to find residents is not appealing for one major reason: It makes the process impersonal.
Because the owners don't directly deal with residents, face-to-face interaction is greatly reduced if not eliminated altogether. Some owners don't like it because they think the owner-resident relationship is reduced from a human interaction to a mere transaction, resulting in residents not caring enough about the property to take care of it while they're leasing it.
But as compelling as that reason is, there's a much bigger reason why hiring a property management company in San Diego (and anywhere else in the United States for that matter) is important: Discrimination.
The Definition of Discrimination Based on The Fair Housing Act
Most people think they're not discriminating against any group or kind of people, but everyone has biases that can affect big decisions even without you realizing it. In any case, you can be accused of being unfair if you don’t have an air-tight screening process. If it involves leasing out property, then you won't just get accusations; you can also get a lawsuit if a prospective resident thinks you've violated the Fair Housing Act.
For example, you've met two prospective residents for your house. The first one is a father of two kids, while the other is a bachelor of the same age. At the back of your head, you want to grant the lease to the bachelor because you think a family with two kids could cause more wear and tear to your property than an adult man living alone. It's a reasonable line of thought, but wait! Do you know the Fair Housing Act prohibits owners to discriminate against familial status? Prospective residents with children under 18 living with them should have the same chance as prospective residents with no such children.
This means you need to screen everyone and qualify them based on the same criteria to avoid discrimination. The first resident that qualifies is the one who should get the lease – not the one you like best. Why? Because it’s the law.
Be Conscious of This Issue
That's just one component of the Fair Housing Act. The law also protects against discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, and other protected categories. It will be hard to remember all this, and even if you do, can you trust yourself to remain completely unbiased when something as personal as your property is on the line?
You don't even have to be consciously biased to be accused of being discriminatory. What seems to be a fair decision to you may not be to a prospective resident. This can lead to a costly and time-consuming lawsuit. If you are found guilty, you'll have to pay fines and punitive damages on top of lawyer fees.
Property Management Companies Can Protect You
Protect yourself by letting a property management company such as PropertyADVANTAGE help you find residents.
PropertyADVANTAGE has nearly 30-years of experience in delivering the finest property management service throughout coastal and inland San Diego and Orange County, so you can be sure you have an expert at the helm. All our property professionals are highly skilled and well-versed in the latest laws and regulations, which removes the risk of a discrimination lawsuit heading your way.