Q: We own a vacation home at the beach, which we rent out as well as use ourselves. It has three bedrooms, ideal for two or three couples, or a family or a bunch of unrelated adults. We want to avoid having it rented by college students, whom we've found to be risky (lots of damage). Can we specify "No one under 23 years of age" in our ad? --Bill and Suzanne H. A: You're not alone among vacation-home owners, who pale at the thought of six or eight young adults renting their homes for an extended party. It's not unreasonable to believe that your property will suffer more wear and tear from such a group than it would from, say, two families with children, or a group of middle-aged adults. But that's not the end of the story. All landlords, including vacation-home owners who rent their properties only occasionally, are subject to the federal fair housing laws. Those laws forbid discrimination on the basis of "familial status," which means families with chi...
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