Home > business, landlord/tenant, Real Estate > Landlords & Property Managers: Time to Review your Tenant Applications – Beware Blanket Bans on Renting to those with Criminal Convictions

Landlords & Property Managers: Time to Review your Tenant Applications – Beware Blanket Bans on Renting to those with Criminal Convictions

“Private landlords who have blanket bans on renting to people with criminal records are in violation of the Fair Housing Act and can be sued and face penalties for discrimination.” The New York Times Also check out theABAJournal

According to the Times article ” In particular, blanket bans violate fair housing law because they have a disparate impact on minorities, who are arrested and convicted in disproportionately high numbers, officials said.”

You can review the guidance that came out of HUD’s General Counsel office.

Per the NYTimes:  the guidelines discuss “how the fair housing law applies to policies that exclude people with criminal records, a group that is not explicitly protected by the act but falls under it in certain circumstances”

The Counsel’s report is about 10 pages the first page lists some pretty staggering statistics:

“As many as 100 million U.S. adults – or nearly one-third of the population – have a criminal record of some sort.”

“The United States prison population of 2.2 million adults is by far the largest in the world.”

For a discussion on some of the policy arguments surrounding the FHA- you can check out NPQuarterly’s article from today.

Bottom Line for Landlords: No Blanket bans on Tenant applicants just because someone has been convicted of a crime.

A good piece of advise from Debra Carlton  a spokeswoman with the California Apartment Association, which represents 50,000 rental property owners,  quoted in the NY Times article: “We always urge owners not to use a blanket policy and to look at the tenant’s ability to pay rent and be a good tenant,

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