The Federal Fair Housing Act has a few rules for landlords when it comes to dealing with applicants with a criminal past.
- Justifiable policies enforced consistently protects landlords
- Landlords have opportunities to prove their cases
- Applicants with drug-related convictions have fewer protections
- Allows reasonable protections for current tenants and/or property
And The Cons
- Rulings can be widely dependant upon the judge
- Any inconsistency in screening hurts the landlord’s case.
- Landlords have no protection if there was an arrest, but no conviction
- Challenging rulings are costly, time-consuming, and unpredictable
Limitations for landlords
A broad policy of denying any prospective tenant with any type of criminal history would be considered discriminatory under the Federal Fair Housing Act.
Protections for applicants
HUD Believes a landlord policy that restricts tenants based on criminal history would disproportionately affect minority groups. Therefore, it is considered a discriminatory practice.
HUD Has two discrimination categories, unintentional and intentional. Unintentional discrimination, HUD uses a three-step process to determine if a landlord’s policy is discriminatory and violates the Federal Fair Housing Act.
- Does it create discrimination?
- Does it achieve a legitimate non-discriminatory interest?
- Is there a less discriminatory alternative?
Is the landlord’s policy is intentionally discriminatory if tenants with similar criminal records are treated differently?
Landlords cannot be convicted of unintentional discrimination for refusing to rent to a tenant who has been convicted of the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance.
With any legal questions and or advice please consult an attorney as to your specific concern. As property managers, we are not giving legal advice.
On behalf of True Orange County Property Management –
We appreciate this opportunity to present why so many landlords like yourself are making the change to True Property Management.
We currently manage properties all across Orange County California and have been recently awarded best property managers in Costa Mesa and Irvine. Our tremendous success is the direct result of landlords like yourself leaving your current management for someone you can trust like True Property Management. We know and understand your pain because we interview each of our landlords to understand your needs and guard you against what you don’t need.
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