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Tips for Avoiding Source of Income Tenant Discrimination Allegations

Tips for Avoiding Source of Income Tenant Discrimination Allegations Frank

For California Homeowners and Property Managers Taking New Tenant Applications

Consider Antidiscrimination Laws based on a Renter Source of Income

Are you a homeowner or property manager in California or San Luis Obispo County looking for an update on the newer laws regarding Section 8 tenants? This article may be for you. 

Can you Turn Away Section 8 Applicants?

A property owner must accept tenants and tenant applications from those who receive government subsidies if they otherwise qualify as a renter. A landlord cannot refuse to rent to an applicant just because they want to use a Section 8 voucher or other form of subsidy. 

What is the change in the law?

California has prohibited source of income discrimination for a some time. In the last few years, it specifically defined source of income to include “verifiable income…paid to a housing owner or landlord on behalf of a tenant, including federal, state, or local public assistance, and federal, state, or local housing subsidies, including, but not limited to, federal housing assistance vouchers issued under Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937” 

This update to the source of income definition means that a landlord cannot discriminate, harass, limit in advertising the sale or rental to, or change the terms of a rental contract because a person has a Section 8 voucher or other public assistance for housing. 

How to Calculate Income 

The new laws provide guidance on how to determine a person’s income for qualification purposes when a proposed tenant  receives public assistance. The guidance says, when a tenant receives a government rent subsidy, the landlord can only use a financial or income standard that is based on the portion of rent to be paid by the tenant. 

For example, if a tenant has “A” amount of income, but pays only “B” amount of rent in light of  their subsidy, the landlord cannot use a standard that requires their A income to be 3 times the amount of rent.

If you have specific factual questions about how these laws can impact your calculation of a prospective tenant’s source of income, please feel free to contact Carmel & Naccasha at 805-546-8785. 

(Cal. Gov. Code § 12955)

Contact a Legal Professional

The information provided herein does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead all information, content, and materials are for general informational purposes only. Neither this website nor this post are intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

If you have any questions regarding the Source of Income Discrimination, please contact Carmel & Naccasha, and for more details, read our full disclaimer.

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