4 Terrific San Diego Landlord-Tenant Law Sources You Need to Know

Tracey March   March 29, 2016   Comments Off on 4 Terrific San Diego Landlord-Tenant Law Sources You Need to Know

If you own rental property in San Diego, you’ve found a great rental market to invest in. And while you may be concerned about finding tenants and keeping your rental units occupied by good renters, you also need to be aware of the numerous federal, state, and local laws that affect how you manage your rental units. You especially need to be aware of fair housing laws. Despite the best of intentions, sometimes it’s easy to unintentionally violate the law.

San Diego California, city skyline at sunset on a beautiful summer night with lighted skyscrapers and downtown buildings

There Are a Few Layers of Fair Housing Laws to Figure Out

Federal, state, and local governments have a say in fair housing law and rental discrimination. The federal Fair Housing Act applies nationwide, and prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and the presence of children. At a minimum state and local governments must enforce fair housing laws to protect these “protected classes.” In addition, state and local governments may also expand these protected classes to include more groups.

What Are the Protected Classes in San Diego?

In addition to the protected classes listed in the federal Fair Housing Act, the state of California also has it’s own fair housing laws that make it unlawful to discriminate in housing based on:

  • Marital Status
  • Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity
  • Military/Veteran Status
  • Use of a service or assistive animal
  • Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

But what does it mean to not discriminate against a protected class? We’ve put a list of online resources and education sources so you can figure out the best practices when it comes to fair housing laws.

Keep in mind that these laws are in place for a good reason, and once you establish a system that keeps you organized and in compliance, you won’t find them pretty straightforward.

Our Top Resources For Fair Housing Law in San Diego

  • SanDiego.gov Fair Housing Page: Provides many resources for those with fair housing questions, and they issue a quarterly newsletter that provides very useful information for landlords, including how to deal with assistance animals, information on free fair housing trainings for housing providers, and more.
  • The California Fair Housing Handbook: Although put together in 2012 to promote fair housing in Sacramento, this comprehensive handbook is a great resource for fair housing in California.
  •  California’s Guide to Tenant Landlord Responsibilities: Designed to be a guide for landlords and tenants, this guide is currently available online only, and addresses many facets of owning and managing rental property in California, including fair housing and unlawful discrimination, and other topics such as deposits, evictions, and repairs.
  • The California Apartment Association and the San Diego Apartment Association offer education and other services, including information on how to comply with state and federal laws, including fair housing laws.

Do you have any great resources for landlords? Any practical tips for complying with fair housing laws? Let us know! And remember, that if you’re a rental property owner and you’d rather leave the details, and rent collections, and repairs, and tenant screening to someone else, there are lots of great professional property management companies in San Diego.