HUD has provided recent guidance on how landlords are to process applications of applicants with a criminal record, typically felonies. This guidance is concerned with racial and ethnic disparities in the U.S criminal justice system concerning restrictions to housing because of criminal history. This guidance comes from the Office of the General Counsel of HUD.
Last year, HUD released new guidelines on the use of criminal background checks in rental housing. The guidelines are based on a legal standard upheld last year by the U.S. Supreme Court, allowing plaintiffs to challenge rental housing practices that have a discriminatory effect, without having to show discriminatory intent.
Screening tenants is a vital part of the job of a landlord or property manager. While most of the criteria — credit score, income, employment — by which prospective tenants are screened are straightforward to evaluate, one in particular is not: criminal background. In order to steer clear of allegations of discrimination by a rental applicant, it’s important to take due care if you use the criminal background check to eliminate a prospective renter.
Join us for this informative, session with HUD and Fair Housing veteran, Paul Flogstad to get expert advice and actionable insights on several new and existing HUD and Federal guidelines to ensure compliance and avoid legal pitfalls.