Criminal Records and Real Estate

By: Jorge Lopez, May 24, 2016

A criminal offense can potentially tarnish your record, whether it was a one-time thing or an accident. For some, starting with a clean slate can be tough, especially if the person is looking to move into a new home. However, it is not impossible.

There are non-discriminatory policies in pace that prevent landlords and sellers from enacting a blanket ban on a person with a criminal record from renting or buying a home. This policy is better known as the Fair Housing Act which is at least partially intended to help Americans returning to their community from obtaining a stable residence for themselves and/or their family. However, it is ultimately up to landlords to determine a non-discriminatory policy.

The government recommends the importance of taking into consideration several factors such as how much time has passed since the infraction was committed, the severity of it, and whether the person may have taken rehabilitation steps.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has also joined forces with the Department of Justice to create a budget aimed at assisting juveniles with criminal histories in obtaining housing and employment, called the Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program.

As a landlord, what policies or requirements have you adopted to deal with potential applicants/tenants with a criminal record?

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