Can a Landlord Reject a Potential Tenant Due to a Criminal Record?

If you have a criminal record, you already know how difficult it can be to find gainful employment. A criminal record can also be big stumbling block when it comes to finding housing. Many private landlords and public housing projects have policies against renting to individuals with criminal records. However, following new guidance published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) cautions landlords that while refusing to rent to a convicted felon may be justified in certain circumstances, a blanket policy of refusing to rent to someone based on their criminal record may violate the Fair Housing  Act. One in four Americans has a criminal record, with varying degrees of severity. HUD notes that with the dawn of the Internet, landlords have the ability to search records quickly and easily, or to pay a third party to conduct a search. However, these records are not always accurate- they may include arrests that never led to conviction or include disorderly…

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