Legalities of Refusing to Rent to Coworker

10 Replies

My husband and I manage the rental houses for my father-in-laws rental company.  We recently had a rental house become vacant and a coworker of my husband's overheard him discussing it.  This is a coworker that my husband does not have a good relationship with; he is also my husband's superior in the National Guard.  We do not want to rent to him and have always had a pretty firm"don't rent to coworkers" stand.  However, the coworker approached my husband today about renting the house from him and when my husband reiterated that we don't rent to coworkers, he went and complained to their boss.  Their boss pretty much told him he didn't want to hear about it.  The last time this happened with the same coworker but a different rental property, he threatened to file against us for discrimination.  We know that this coworker has not paid his current rent regularly, and they had their home foreclosed on last year.  Do we have to go through the rental application process with him or can we be safe legally in saying that we don't rent to coworkers?

Wow, that's what sucks about renters, especially an ahole like this guy, he identifies as a huge jerk before the contract is signed. I would run all the debt to income numbers to see if he can afford it and price it at the maximum for the area & get a huge deposit. Then run ads in the paper & Craigslist, and to find a few other potential renters. The financials is the only thing you can discriminate on... good luck & let us know how it goes.

I'd have to stay your stuck with having to run him through your credit checks and if he passes he's in unfortunately. Unless its in your father-in-laws policies that co-workers of employees are not allowed to rent I think you'll have to face this one.

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@Carrie Gulledge I'm with @Thomas S. on this one, running checks and getting into the application process will only give this guy something new to be offended about, and then it will be more personal (rejecting him based on his history versus just that they happen to work together).

Sorry you're in this situation, hope it smooths over!

I'm pretty sure I can reject you as a renter because I don't like your personality.  Pretty sure that whining schmucks are not a protected class.  "I simply don't want to rent to YOU, feel free to sue me if you want".

Did the coworker try to use his position in the NG as leverage to get the unit? Because I am fairly certain he'd get in more trouble for that than you or your husband would for not renting to a coworker. So long as you in fact do not rent to coworkers, he doesn't have a leg to stand on.


@Carrie Gulledge

Tell the prospective tenant that credit checks are done and a poor rental history and a foreclosure will not get him into any unit you manage.  You don't wish to take his money knowing he will not be approved.  End of conversation.

If you feel compelled to take an app from him, those deficiencies should be noted in his application.  On my cover sheet to the app, I list how a prospective would be evaluated.  I allowed myself some leeway, like 'acceptable credit' and then the requirements that takes care of the liars - 'complete and accurate application' and 'positive feedback from previous landlords' in your case.

 I'm a CYA person so I make the prospective tenant sign/date the cover sheet outlining requirements and return it with their completed app.  Not one complained

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