Can Inot rent to someone?

UPDATED: Jan 29, 2012

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Can Inot rent to someone?

My house was rented to people of a non-American nationality. They didn’t speak much English and had a “friend” interpreter. When they didn’t pay the last month’s rent and left a lot of damage to property with no forwarding address, the interpreter wouldn’t help me. Now, the interpreter wants to rent the house and I am very reluctant to do so (the interpretor is of the same nationality as ex-tenants). Do I have to take application or consider renting to this party? Would I get in trouble if I don’t? In addition to damage and non-payment, the previous tenants moved more people into the house.

Asked on January 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

While federal law does prevent discrimination in rentals on the basis of race, and some states may prevent discrimination on the basis of language and/or national origin, that does NOT mean that you have to rent to anyone of any race, etc.--a landlord is allowed to refuse to rent for valid, non-discriminatory reasons. In this case, you had a bad experience with this interpretor--his clients or friends damaged your property and skipped out on rent. Based on the fact that associates of his caused you a loss, in a transaction in which he was at least peripherally invovled (as interpreter), you would be justified in not renting to him.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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