A well-written advertisement will save you time and money in the long run. Be specific in your description of the premises and give the monthly rent so that only those who can afford it respond to the ad. If a security deposit and first and last month's rent are required, include that in your ad as well. By making clear exactly what you are offering and requiring, you stand a better chance of getting a suitable tenant and avoiding possible problems in the future. For example, if you state in your ad that references from previous landlords are required, you automatically exclude applicants who are unable to supply such references.

Discrimination in Advertising

Your advertisement should not in any way be considered discriminatory. Attempting to exclude applicants through advertising on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion or disability violates the Fair Housing Act. Local ordinances and regulations usually reemphasize these restrictions and may even broaden them. For example, the city of San Francisco prohibits discrimination in housing based on sexual orientation.

TIP: Age discrimination laws prohibit discriminating against people over 40 years old in housing. Including terms such as "students," "recent graduates" or "college aged," excludes older individuals and violates the law. Of course, by posting a rental notice at a college or university, you are most likely to get student applicants.

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