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What landlords should know about rental applicants from a tenant with a criminal background

Some landlords automatically disqualify potential tenants with criminal records from leasing their property. However, there are many different types of offenses. Many people who have committed crimes have paid their dues and are now leading law-abiding lives. Considering the person and their story, you may open yourself up to some great tenants who would otherwise be overlooked.


In this article, landlords will learn the following:

Can landlords deny tenants with criminal records?

Landlords can deny tenants with a criminal history and any other person who does not meet the landlord's qualifications for their rental property. This is outlined in the Fair Housing Act, which states landlords cannot discriminate against potential tenants based on their race, religion, color, national origin, familial status, sex, or disability. However, a landlord can deny a prospective tenant if they have a criminal history.

Here are a few things to consider before denying a tenant with a criminal record:

  1. Suppose the tenant was only arrested. Arrests alone aren't proof of guilt.

  2. The severity of the offense. There are many types of crimes, some more serious than others.

  3. How long ago the offense took place? Many people who have committed crimes have paid their dues and are now leading law-abiding lives.

  4. You should consider the whole person.

There may be mitigating circumstances that led to the criminal act, such as mental illness or socioeconomic factors.


Considering the whole person and their story, you may open yourself up to a good tenant who would otherwise be overlooked. A criminal record should not automatically disqualify someone from leasing your condo. Many people have made past mistakes but have since paid their dues and are now leading law-abiding lives. If you've hired a property management company, they may have a policy regarding tenants with a criminal history. Get in touch with your property manager to get more information regarding how they screen tenants.



How do you go about screening tenants with criminal records?

Screening potential tenants is a crucial step in renting out a property. Landlords often run credit and background checks and review rental history to ensure they choose a responsible and reliable tenant. A credit check allows the landlord to see the potential tenant's financial history and assess their ability to pay rent on time. A background check reveals any criminal record and may include information about the potential tenant's work history, education, and other relevant details. Checking the potential tenant's rental history allows the landlord to see how the person has behaved as a tenant in the past, including whether they paid rent on time and took good care of the property.


Many condo associations also run credit and background checks as part of the application process for living in the building. This helps the association ensure that all tenants meet their standards and will be good neighbors.


Things to remember when considering a tenant with a criminal record?

Miami Landlords should remember that not all criminal offenses are created equal. Someone who was convicted of a misdemeanor may not be a danger to other tenants, while someone who committed a violent felony could be. It's essential to consider each applicant on a case-by-case basis and weigh the severity of their offense against their overall rental history.

Landlords should interview potential tenants and ask questions to get to know the potential tenant a little more before automatically writing them off.


In general, landlords can use a reference:


Deny

  • Felony convictions for violent crimes less than seven years ago

  • Sex offenders (no time frame)

  • Homicide

  • Convictions that may affect the tenant's ability to pay rent, such as fraud

  • Serious property crimes

  • Drug distribution and manufacturing

Use Caution

  • Felony convictions for violent crimes more than seven years ago - look at the nature of the offense

  • Domestic violence

  • Violent misdemeanor convictions

  • Convictions not affecting safety

Ok to Rent

  • Arrests with no convictions

  • Withhold of adjudication - the person has full rights

  • Petty drug possession

  • Most misdemeanors

  • DUI

This was referenced by: https://kelleygrantlaw.com


Conclusion

Landlords shouldn't automatically disqualify someone with a criminal record from leasing a property. Many types of offenses can happen. Many people who have committed crimes have paid their dues and are now leading law-abiding lives. Consider the whole person and their story before passing judgment - you may open yourself up to some great tenants who would otherwise be overlooked.




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