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House Hunting Problems: Avoid Steering

Steering is the practice where in landlords, real estate brokers and other housing professional tries to limit a prospective tenant’s housing options by encouraging them to look for housing elsewhere or leasing certain units even though other units are available based on their race, religion, disability and other protected characteristics.

Denver property management companies advise you to be familiar with the four types of steering practices before you start house hunting. The four types of steering include:

Discourages you from renting the unit
It is considered steering if the landlord or housing professional states reasons why you should not consider the apartment despite the fact that the home rental is okay with you. Take note however that if you are looking for a home rental that is near a school and the landlord says that the rental is not near one and suggests you try looking somewhere else, this is a valid point and does not violate anything.

Attempts to assign you to certain areas of the building
If the landlord attempts to assign you to rent specific units even if there are a lot of available units. For example, a landlord rejects a Jew’s application because the Jew portion of the building is filled.

Suggests that you will not be comfortable with your neighbors
An example of this is when a landlord suggests that you will not be comfortable living in the building because all the other tenants are white. Remember to ask the landlord why he thinks you will not be comfortable with your neighbors, some points are valid. Let’s say you told the landlord that you would like a quiet home rental and he says that there are plenty of children residing in the building. In this case, the point is a valid one.

Discourages you from renting the unit by highlighting the undesirable features and neglecting to mention the good features of the rental
Some landlords stress out the undesirable features in the hope that you will be discouraged from renting. Some landlords or broker do not mention the merits of living in the rental. If the building is equipped with amenities such as a fitness center or a swimming pool and the landlord or housing professional does not mention them to you, you are being steered.

Source: apartments.about.com