Renting? Prepare for a Background Check

So, you’re in the market for a new place to live. You have your security deposit and now you’re looking to rent the perfect house or apartment. You’re prepared for the landlord to run your credit report, but what about the background check? Were you aware that some landlords run criminal background checks on prospective renters?

Landlords can ask how many kids you have. They can ask about your pets. They can run your credit, but they can also run a criminal background check on you. They may ask if it’s okay if they run a background check, but they’re not legally required ask. If you’re looking for a new house, mobile home, or apartment to rent, or if you need to renew your lease soon, this post explains what you need to know.

Can My Criminal Record Affect Housing?

In a word, yes, but landlords do have to follow certain procedures. For instance, if a landlord asks you if you have a criminal record and you say “yes” and the landlord says, “Well, don’t bother applying because I won’t approve your application” that could be considered “discrimination.”

On the other hand, if you submit an application, the landlord runs a background check, discovers the conviction(s) and refuses to accept your application, he or she is within their rights to deny you. If a landlord decides not to rent to you because of what came up on your background check, the landlord must give you oral, electronic, or written notice.

The notice must advise you of your rights about correcting inaccurate information, and your right to a copy of the report upon request within 60 days of the landlord’s negative decision.

Criminal convictions stay on offenders’ records indefinitely, unless they are expunged. This means a single or multiple convictions can affect an offender’s ability to rent or lease an apartment or house for years to come. In light of that, the best way to avoid this embarrassing and difficult situation is to avoid a conviction in the first place.

To fight your criminal charges, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC.

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