Below is an advertisement to hire part-time testers in 24 Indiana counties. This ad was spotted recently by an Indiana landlord.
“Needed Fair Housing Testers (Secret Shoppers)”
“Stated simply, testing is typically sending two individuals with similar profiles and housing needs but with different protected class statuses, such as race, to the same available housing unit to see if they are treated differently because of their protected class status. For example, to determine if people are being discriminated against due to their race by a lender, we may pair a black tester with a white tester and see if they are treated differently.
Testing can occur in the rental, real estate, sales, or lending markets. Without testing, most housing discrimination goes undetected. This position is so critically important to stopping housing discrimination. We are also always in need of more Fair Housing Testers (Secret Shoppers)! Testers are a diverse group of dependable, conscientious people, 18 years and older, who assist those working to eliminate housing discrimination in gathering information about housing practices. They are of various racial and ethnic groups, across genders, and over a broad range of ages with and without disabilities.
Testers take on various roles and profiles. They do not try to trap the housing provider or cause them to discriminate. They perform a task similar to a restaurant critic. They observe and record their experiences. The tester’s job is to gather information, much like anyone on a housing search or when seeking a loan, and to observe how a housing provider treats prospective housing tenants, mortgage applicants, or home buyers. After each test, the tester will complete a detailed account of what occurred during the test and submit it to the FHCCI staff.
Testers receive a stipend for their time ranging from $50-$200 per test, depending upon the type of test conducted. Related expenses are also reimbursed with prior approval. Due to labor requirements, testers are classified as part-time employees but the time for testing is very flexible based on your schedule and time available. Some FHCCI testers conduct tests several times a month, while others may only test occasionally as their schedule allows and as we have need for their assistance. Want to get an application to be a Fair Housing Tester? Just email us at ______________.”
Fair Housing Discrimination Insurance
Did you know that there is Fair Housing Discrimination insurance available for mom-and-pop landlords? If you are a real estate investor who self-manages your properties, Property Management Errors & Omissions coverage can assist in situations where a tenant alleges that the property manager was negligent or failed to perform duties as promised in the lease. The coverage includes:
- $25,000 for tenant discrimination (this coverage can apply to Fair Housing Laws)
- Legal defense costs (including attorney fees, settlements, court costs, etc.) within your coverage limit
[Editor’s Note: Fair Housing Testers are everywhere! One Indiana landlord gives this warning: “Treat EVERYONE as if they are a tester. Treat EVERYONE the SAME. That prospect might be earning $200 to call you or walk into your open house, even without submitting an application.”]
Management tips provided by landlords on MrLandlord.com. To receive a free Rental Owner newsletter, call 1-800-950-2250 or visit their web site at mrlandlord.com where you can ask landlording questions and seek the advice of other rental owners 24 hours a day.