Does an owner have to rent to applicants with children if the applicants plan to have their own children live with them and also plan to have the dwelling occupied by (1) another child for whom the applicants are not the parent, guardian, legal custodian, or person applying for such status, or (2) another adult who is not the parent, guardian, or legal custodian (or person applying for such status) of the children?

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  • Does an owner have to rent to applicants with children if the applicants plan to have their own children live with them and also plan to have the dwelling occupied by (1) another child for whom the applicants are not the parent, guardian, legal custodian, or person applying for such status, or (2) another adult who is not the parent, guardian, or legal custodian (or person applying for such status) of the children?

Whether the other adult or unrelated child can be lawful reason for not renting to the applicants in the above situation depends on the owner’s policy on renting to unmarried adults. For example, an owner may lawfully have a policy of not renting to adult roommates unless they are married (by marriage certificate or common law) and not renting to children unless they are living with their parent, guardian, legal custodian, or person applying for that status. Therefore, when a family applies to rent and they want to include such extra adults or children (who are not truly part of the family under fair housing laws), the owner can refuse to rent if the residents insist on having such extra adult or child live with them. Of course, the owner must be willing to rent to the family if such extra adult or child are not going to be included as authorized occupants of the dwelling. On the other hand, if the owner has a policy of renting to unmarried adult roommates and not renting to children unless they are living with a parent, etc., the inclusion of the extra adult would not violate the owner’s policy; and therefore, the inclusion of the extra adult cannot be a basis for refusing to rent to the family. The inclusion of the extra child, however, would violate the owner’s policy and the owner can refuse to rent if the residents insist on including the extra child.

Source: TAR

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