Magazine article Medical Economics

Q & A: Money Management

Magazine article Medical Economics

Q & A: Money Management

Article excerpt

Rejecting a tenant with a criminal record

While checking into a prospective tenant's background I found out that he used to be a drug addict and was convicted for possession of narcotics. Can I refuse him an apartment on that basis without risking legal trouble?

No. A former drug addict is considered a disabled person, so you can't reject him as a tenant for that reason alone. You'd probably be on safe ground if he has other criminal marks on his record, though; you could justifiably argue that someone who breaks the law may do damage to the apartment or skip rental payments, both legitimate business concerns. And if he has other business-related strikes against him, such as questionable credit or an unstable work history, that's even better. But to protect yourself in case he charges you with discrimination, document your reasons for refusing him and make sure you use the same criteria for evaluating all applicants.

A credit "convenience" you should avoid

I often get checks from my credit card issuers. Are there times when using a check tied to my credit account would make more sense than just giving my card to a merchant?

No. Amounts paid using these checks start racking up interest charges immediatelythere's no grace period-and the interest rate is typically higher than the rates for the cards themselves. A potential double whammy for folks who carry balances: The issuer will likely apply any payments made to the lower-rate card balance first.

Card issuers often supply "convenience" checks not for use with merchants but rather to encourage new customers to transfer balances from other cards. …

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