Landlord and Tenant Law in Indiana: Dangers in Advertising

ADVERTISING: You have purchased a house or apartment complex and now you want to rent it out. Or you have recently obtained a position as manager of rental units for an owner. The first step of course is locating tenants. There are pitfalls and liabilities that you can incur simply trying to obtain tenants. The Indiana Consumer Deceptive Practices Act applies to the leasing of Apartments as well as other matters. You should not make any representations in your advertisement which you know, or should know are not correct. A deceptive act in an advertisement for the leasing of Apartments could subject the owner or the management company to civil fines. An owner can be held liable even if the owner did not draft or cause the deceptive statement to be published. The key is whether or not the owner authorized the use of the advertisement. An example of a deceptive act in advertising is an ad that claims that a rental unit has certain accessories, amenities, or benefits which are not actually available. If certain appliances or amenities are only available in certain units you must be careful in your advertisement not to imply that those items or amenities are available in all units. Special offers or promotions can also get you into trouble. For example if the special offer is limited as to the number available or there is a time limitation on the offer you must be clear and indicate that in your advertising. If your offer of 1 months free rent, or special pricing, or no security deposit applies only to certain units, you must make it clear that there is a limitation like that in your advertisement.

You can also violate the Fair Housing Act in your advertising. If you use pictures of people in your advertising, and the pictures of the tenants in your advertisements are always of a certain race, or are always adults without children this could be construed as an intent to discriminate. Also be careful of certain words used in the advertisement that may be indicative of discrimination. Words such as private, restricted, or exclusive should be avoided. Always use common sense, and make sure you make no statement that is in any way misleading or false in your advertising.

Adveristing is very important Landlords and Management Companies, however if done incorrectly, it could become very costly or result in unanticipated negative consequences.

If you have a question regarding advertising your rental houses, apartments, complexes, or duplexes, call the attorneys of Perry Law Office for a free telephone consultation. Better to be safe than sorry.