Are you facing criminal charges in Dallas or anywhere else in the Lone
Star State? If so, it’s very important that you understand that
a criminal record cannot only affect employment for years to come, but
it can affect your ability to rent an apartment or house. “But how
is this possible?” The answer is criminal background checks.
It is within a landlord’s right to run a criminal background check
on an applicant. So, if you were to fill out an application for an apartment
or house, the landlord could easily take your Social Security number and
check to see if you have a criminal record, and in doing so, he or she
would not be violating your rights or the law.
Sometimes however, a landlord will ask someone if they have a criminal
record before the person applies for the apartment. In these cases, the
landlord might say, “Oh, you have a record? Then don’t even
bother applying. I don’t rent to people with convictions.”
When a landlord turns someone away for a criminal record before the person
has the opportunity to fill out an application, it is actually considered
discrimination and the Federal Trade Commission advises applicants to report it to the
Department of Housing and Urban Development. In fact, if you ever feel a landlord or property manager is discriminating
against you for another reason, such as your race or religion, you’re
urged to contact HUD.
When You’re Rejected Due to Your Record
Once you have a criminal record, finding affordable housing in a safe neighborhood
can become a real challenge because many apartment complexes check the
criminal records of applicants. If you are rejected because of a criminal
record, the landlord must do the following:
- Give you notice of the rejection orally, electronically, or in writing.
- Give you the contact information of the company that ran your background check.
- Give you notice about your right to fix any errors and get a free copy
of your report within 60 days of the rejection, upon your request.
Courtroom Etiquette in Dallas
The best way to avoid housing difficulties in the future is to avoid a
conviction in the first place. To fight your criminal charges,
contact Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney, Peter Barrett at (214) 307-8667 today.