NAA Kicks Off Fair Housing Month

The National Apartment Association’s annual celebration of Fair Housing Month is underway.

2 minute read

On April 3, NAA presented the first “April is Fair Housing Month” session for 2024. Jay Harris, Partner with Hudson Cook shared his expertise with attendees during the session “Part II: 10 Applicant Screening Solutions for Property Managers,” which was a follow-up to his session in February on renter history reporting. Harris discussed areas that are important for property managers and operators to understand related to resident screening, including fraud, credit and income qualifications, and new agency guidance. 

Harris discussed the recently issued Tenant Background Checks and Renter’s Rights guidance to kick off the presentation, noting that it consolidates information for prospective renters regarding the application process. He said that the new guidance gave more attention to what courts are doing in this space. Harris shared that operations should pay close attention to local rules related to resident screening, given the growing patchwork of disclosures, fees and requirements. He noted HUD’s PD&R Non-Rent Fee Guidance as something for operations to review when evaluating fees.  

Harris then moved to dive into applicant fraud, which is up 40% year-over-year, according to a recent survey of NAA members, and he provided information on what to do when an applicant “fails” identify verification. 

Moving to credit and income qualification, Harris noted that many decision models are being used in the rental housing industry, and that operations should be aware of the limits of these methods when evaluating applications and potential residents. Harris also said that HUD has increased awareness on Source of Income information in screening. The key consideration related to rental history and eviction records comes from state laws where the method of obtaining the information is varied and sometimes lacks personal identifying information, Harris said.  

Revisit Part I of this webinar series

Register for the next Fair Housing webinar “To Verify or Not: Emotional Support Animals & Other Unique Requests” on April 10. 

James Swart is Director, Education and Leadership Development with NAAEI