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Can Landlords Restrict Families with Kids from Renting?

MRS Management LLC - Friday, June 1, 2018

There are many reasons some landlords wish to limit their properties to adult renters only. Some landlords are concerned that their current tenants may not want to live in a community with kids, while others worry about the additional wear and tear on a property that can occur when kids are among the residents. However, there are very strict laws regarding the way that landlords screen prospective tenants, and the notion of restricting renters based on whether they have children falls into this category. The best way to ensure that your don’t inadvertently violate these rules as a landlord is to work with a property management company who understands the laws and applies them to the tenant screening process on your behalf. Here is what you need to know about restricting access to your rentals from families with kids.

Renting to Families with Kids

According to The Fair Housing Act of 1968, familial status is a protected class. This means that landlords cannot refuse to rent properties to people who have children. The only exceptions to this rule is when the number of children a family has would violate municipal fire codes for maximum occupancy or when the property is part of a senior residential complex that does not allow any residents under the age of 55. Landlords need permission to have their properties considered to be senior residential complexes.

Other Discriminatory Restrictions

Because familial status is a protected class, landlords must treat all applicants with children the same way they would other residents. It would also be considered to be discriminatory to limit families with kids to ground floor units or to certain areas of a rental property. Further, landlords cannot require children to have their own rooms, restrict children from playing outside, or refuse to renew a lease based on complaints about children’s noise.

MRS Property Management helps landlords perform thorough tenant screenings that meet all legal requirements. Find out how our property management company in Beverly, MA can help you find the right tenants by calling us today at (978) 578-2793.