Ask Gerald!

Q: I’m a new landlord. I’m preparing to rent out an apartment in my new property. A friend of mine told me to avoid section 8 tenants. Can I refuse to rent to a tenant if he or she gets section 8 assistance?

John, New Brunswick, New Jersey

Gerald: Hi John. In New Jersey you cannot discriminate based on a person’s source of income, thus refusing to rent your apartment to a tenant because they receive section 8 assistance would certainly violate that rule. Landlord tenant laws vary a great deal from place to place, so always consult the rules in the area where your property is located. As a landlord, it’s best to have a thorough written rental policy that uniformly applies to all tenants and all tenant applicants. A written rental policy can certainly set guidelines and requirements for a prospective tenant’s monthly income, credit score or length of employment so long as the policy is equally applied to all applicants.