The Smart Apartment Advisor Show for Wed. Aug 3rd

Special Shout Out to KGO 810’s Brian Copeland! I’m excited to announce that on Wednesday Sept, 7th I’ll be on Brian’s Show on KGO Radio AM 810 at 3pm. BRIAN COPELAND is San Francisco comedy icon and an award-winning actor, comedian, author, playwright, television and radio talk show host based in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

#FairHousing: How can tenants be sure they’re getting a fair deal in their housing search? How can landlords avoid getting into trouble.


  • Federal Fair Housing legislation protects people from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and familial status.
  • California state adds the following additional classes to this protection: 
    • Age (40 and over)
    • Ancestry
    • Color
    • Religious Creed (including religious dress and grooming practices)
    • Denial of Family and Medical Care Leave
    • Disability (mental and physical) including HIV and AIDS
    • Marital Status
    • Medical Condition (cancer and genetic characteristics)
    • Genetic Information
    • Military and Veteran Status  
    • National Origin (including language use restrictions)
    • Sex (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding)
    • Gender, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression 
    • Sexual Orientation
  • As you can tell this basically means we need to be careful in making the highly sensitive decision about who receives rental accommodations which are critically important to everyone in our society.
  • Make sure that decisions are made based on financial considerations related to a strong screening criteria instead of arbitrary considerations. Even if these considerations aren’t related to a protected class above they leave the possibility open that a one could claim discrimination if they’re refused the opportunity to rent an apartment or home despite their financial qualifications meeting screening criteria
  • The importance of first come, first qualified, first offered criteria
  • Don’t underprice your listing hoping for a huge stack of applications and then pick your favorite. THIS IS ASKING FOR A FAIR HOUSING LAWSUIT.
  • Price high and bring the price down slowly or negotiate with tenants who have proven their qualifications
  • Application fees - don’t incur the cost to process multiple applications before offering the unit to rent


  • Ask a landlord or property manager how they’re going to decide which applications to run and whether there are others ahead of you in line. I sometimes have multiple applications but I always encourage backups to apply because lots of different things can go wrong in the process and the backup is next to be considered and offered the unit. Tenants can decide they want a different place, they can fail to meet the screening criteria, or maybe they don’t want the unit right away.
  • When do you sign your lease? Be ready to sign a lease right away to secure the place you want. I can’t typically hold a place more than a week or two without at least trying to get a tenant sooner. I might agree to hang on to your application while we continue to show and look for an applicant that will rent sooner. If I find someone who’ll start paying sooner I’ll give you the chance to step up and match their start date before I offer the unit to the other applicant.
  • Don’t deviate from your criteria if you can help it. IF you do, document why.
  • Keep your applications for at least three years, even the ones you reject. 

New Segment: "Are you KIDDING me?"

Apartment ownership isn’t just “passive income.” It’s not just collecting rent and fixing a broken toilet from time to time. There’s a constant potential for difficulties and if you make the wrong choice you could find yourself in big trouble.