Comments Off on Be Careful When Rejecting Tenants On Criminal History

It may not be a problem at this very moment, but there seems to be a strong political movement to keep Landlords from using older criminal records as a reason to reject prospective Tenants. In a recent settlement in the state of Washington, 273 rejected tenants received a cash settlement because they were rejected on criminal activity over 7 years old.
You may feel that older convictions remain relevant. There is, however, a growing trend to allow for prospective Tenants with older histories to get into apartments as they have ‘turned their lives around.’
Even if this is not currently the law in your area, you might be turning away good Tenants who have steady jobs, good credit and stable lives. Considering the risks taken by Landlords who fail to carefully check Employment, old convictions, like old evictions, have very little predictive ability for the future.
The best predictors of future Tenant success are a verified job, stable residence history and high levels of available credit. Older criminal history only matters if it continues to show up in the recent records.
You might be interested in this article on the settlement:

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