California Criminal Records Under Attack

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California Criminal Records Under Attack

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A bill aiming to restrict landlords’ and property managers’ ability to factor in criminal records in their tenant screening has surfaced in California. Although still in committee, this assembly bill has the ability to change the Californian tenant screening process by allowing criminal records to be reviewed only after a conditional offer has been made.

Update: AB 53 Has Died in Committee

AB 53 would revise the California Fair Employment and Housing Act to make it unlawful to inquire about (or require) a rental applicant to disclose any criminal history prior to the “initial application assessment phase.” In addition to incorporating a new screening process, AB 53 would also require rental properties that use criminal records to include a notice within their application. As for the silver lining? If passed, this bill would give the applicant only 2 days to dispute a potential denial with additional evidence of rehabilitation or other factors, rather than 14 days.

While bifurcated screening processes are nothing new, this new legislation represents a growing trend that no rental housing professional wants… at best, more red tape and at worst, a criminal screening ban.

The tenant screening laws that have been proposed so far in 2020 are sprinkled across the best-case and worst-case scenario spectrum. In Cook County, Illinois, their recent ordinance similarly requires a conditional offer before screening for criminal history, but only allows property owners and managers to consider convictions made within the past 3 years. In Oakland, the city council has approved an ordinance that would make it illegal for rental property owners to ask about an applicant’s criminal history or deny them because of their criminal record. This could be one of the strictest screening ordinances in the state, and it’s only January.

As we observed in 2019, 9 different states proposed bills that targeted the use of criminal or eviction records (or both) for resident screening. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled.

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2 Replies to “California Criminal Records Under Attack”

  1. Imagine being a convicted criminal, or worse felon, at some point in your life…and never being given a chance for housing, unless it’s undesirable, or work, again, unless it’s undesirable. No licenses to create a business of your own (save for construction etc). If a person has paid their dues why does our society INSIST they stay as low as possible. And then complain about repeat offenders.

  2. As a landlord I share the concern of this article.
    In places where the weather is milder in particular, this is a big issue. The impetus behind these laws, aside from the legacy of the War On non-big pharma Drugs, is to reduce the number of people living in the streets.
    Go after the drug makers and force them to pay to build housing for these chemically enslaved individuals.
    I’ve already been burned by opiod addicted tenants, and had to evict. Very nice folks, but everything was an elaborate lie. Addict contractors are just as bad.
    Newsflash lawmakers – no landlord whose goal is to earn a profit wants to deal with addicts. They burn bridges and don’t pay the rent. Addicts develop excellent acting skills and can be very slick in theirs cons. I digress…..
    In aothers word, let’s understand the context of what’s leading to these proposed law changes.
    Let’s make those who created and profited from the root problem, pay for the housing solutions.

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2 Replies to “California Criminal Records Under Attack”

  1. Imagine being a convicted criminal, or worse felon, at some point in your life…and never being given a chance for housing, unless it’s undesirable, or work, again, unless it’s undesirable. No licenses to create a business of your own (save for construction etc). If a person has paid their dues why does our society INSIST they stay as low as possible. And then complain about repeat offenders.

  2. As a landlord I share the concern of this article.
    In places where the weather is milder in particular, this is a big issue. The impetus behind these laws, aside from the legacy of the War On non-big pharma Drugs, is to reduce the number of people living in the streets.
    Go after the drug makers and force them to pay to build housing for these chemically enslaved individuals.
    I’ve already been burned by opiod addicted tenants, and had to evict. Very nice folks, but everything was an elaborate lie. Addict contractors are just as bad.
    Newsflash lawmakers – no landlord whose goal is to earn a profit wants to deal with addicts. They burn bridges and don’t pay the rent. Addicts develop excellent acting skills and can be very slick in theirs cons. I digress…..
    In aothers word, let’s understand the context of what’s leading to these proposed law changes.
    Let’s make those who created and profited from the root problem, pay for the housing solutions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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The nation’s most trusted tenant screening for real estate agents, landlords, and property managers. No cost background checks available 24/7.

©2018 ApplyConnect. All rights reserved

ApplyConnect marks used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of applyconnect.com. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.