Renting an Apartment? Your Background Can Be Checked

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.

Suggested Reading: 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.

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