In April 2016 the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released new guidance over the fair and lawful use of Criminal Records as part of the tenant screening process; a move designed to improve the ability of individuals with criminal records to find housing. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of states: “The new HUD guidance appears relatively simple but ultimately may create a great deal of confusion for landlords and property managers and as it is a hugely significant change in policy governing the use of specific public records.” HUD has thrust the burden of an individualized screening policy squarely on landlords and property managers. People with criminal records aren’t a protected class under the Fair Housing Act, and the guidance from HUD’s general counsel says that in some cases, turning down an individual tenant because of his or her record can be legally justified. Subsequently, there has been pushback.

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Posted Under: Tenant Screening

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