Can Inot rent to someone?

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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.


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