Steering is exactly what the word implies. When a realtor, renting agent or owner only shows certain groups of people certain properties where persons “like them” live, this is called steering. Steering is illegal. For example, a property owner thinks an older single woman who uses a cane would be happier and better off in first floor apartments. Therefore, the property owner does not show her anything but first floor apartments or tells her that she would be better off on the first floor. The property owner cannot lawfully make these decisions for the person seeking housing.
FAQ – My property has a river running through the back of the property. I am worried that the river is dangerous for someone with small children. Because of the danger I only rent to adults. Is that okay? No. You can inform ALL potential renters that there is a river in the back of the property. If you have other properties, you can show ALL potential renters all the other properties. However, once you have disclosed information about the river you need to allow the potential renter to decide whether or not the property is appropriate for him/her. As a property owner you cannot make decisions for potential or actual tenants no matter how good your intentions are.
You may want to talk with your attorney about what you should do to protect yourself from potential claims if anyone is harmed by the river.