Is it okay to be open and honest about Felons

11 Replies

To me, this is not a discrimination issue it is a protecting my neighbors and other tenants thing. Can you be straight up honest with your tenants and others in saying if you or others have Felony convictions that include a violent nature/sex crime of any sort and you have not been out of jail/prison for at least 5 years to prove yourself as rehabilitated then I do not want you in my property? 

I don't want to waste their time/money and I want my other tenants and neighbors to know that I am doing my job of keeping them as safe as I can.

Of course, other crimes will be considered on a case by case review at my sole discretion.

Thanks, 

In most states, felons are not a protected class and you can just put that as a criteria in your rental profile. ie, no previous felony convictions. You don't need to sort them out.

Originally posted by @James Kirby :

To me, this is not a discrimination issue it is a protecting my neighbors and other tenants thing. Can you be straight up honest with your tenants and others in saying if you or others have Felony convictions that include a violent nature/sex crime of any sort and you have not been out of jail/prison for at least 5 years to prove yourself as rehabilitated then I do not want you in my property? 

I don't want to waste their time/money and I want my other tenants and neighbors to know that I am doing my job of keeping them as safe as I can.

Of course, other crimes will be considered on a case by case review at my sole discretion.

Thanks, 

 Yea absolutely. There are a few crazy liberal states where this is an issue but for the majority of the country this is no issue at all. We do it all the time. If you really wanted to you could simply say "Hey Mr tenant you're a felon? I don't rent to scum bags. Go pound salt bro". Note that, that specific route may cause you to get punched in the face. So however you're comfortable saying it will work as well.

Originally posted by @James Wise :
Originally posted by @James Kirby:

To me, this is not a discrimination issue it is a protecting my neighbors and other tenants thing. Can you be straight up honest with your tenants and others in saying if you or others have Felony convictions that include a violent nature/sex crime of any sort and you have not been out of jail/prison for at least 5 years to prove yourself as rehabilitated then I do not want you in my property? 

I don't want to waste their time/money and I want my other tenants and neighbors to know that I am doing my job of keeping them as safe as I can.

Of course, other crimes will be considered on a case by case review at my sole discretion.

Thanks, 

 Yea absolutely. There are a few crazy liberal states where this is an issue but for the majority of the country this is no issue at all. We do it all the time. If you really wanted to you could simply say "Hey Mr tenant you're a felon? I don't rent to scum bags. Go pound salt bro". Note that, that specific route may cause you to get punched in the face. So however you're comfortable saying it will work as well.

 Although to some I would feel like saying this. I think for my business name I would TRY to keep it professional. 

I am putting a welcome kit together and was putting in how I am working to keep them safe with lighting, locks, background checks, etc. and got to the point on felons and when I looked it up the HUD portion kind of threw me off a bit. I am still a little worried about all of the crap people can and will take you to court on.

HUD says "A housing provider must… be able to prove through reliable evidence that it's policy or practice of making housing decisions based on criminal history actually assists in protecting resident safety and/or property."
I mean - Sure you can prove it in ways as offenders have a higher chance of offending again. But, I think it could still be hard to prove in court.

Thoughts?

Originally posted by @James Wise :
Originally posted by @James Kirby:

To me, this is not a discrimination issue it is a protecting my neighbors and other tenants thing. Can you be straight up honest with your tenants and others in saying if you or others have Felony convictions that include a violent nature/sex crime of any sort and you have not been out of jail/prison for at least 5 years to prove yourself as rehabilitated then I do not want you in my property? 

I don't want to waste their time/money and I want my other tenants and neighbors to know that I am doing my job of keeping them as safe as I can.

Of course, other crimes will be considered on a case by case review at my sole discretion.

Thanks, 

 Yea absolutely. There are a few crazy liberal states where this is an issue but for the majority of the country this is no issue at all. We do it all the time. If you really wanted to you could simply say "Hey Mr tenant you're a felon? I don't rent to scum bags. Go pound salt bro". Note that, that specific route may cause you to get punched in the face. So however you're comfortable saying it will work as well.

 This is one of the reasons I sold my property in Seattle. When they passed the first come first serve law I said enough is enough. Landlords have to rent to the first person that meets the requirements on paper. 

Originally posted by @James Kirby :
Originally posted by @James Wise:
Originally posted by @James Kirby:

To me, this is not a discrimination issue it is a protecting my neighbors and other tenants thing. Can you be straight up honest with your tenants and others in saying if you or others have Felony convictions that include a violent nature/sex crime of any sort and you have not been out of jail/prison for at least 5 years to prove yourself as rehabilitated then I do not want you in my property? 

I don't want to waste their time/money and I want my other tenants and neighbors to know that I am doing my job of keeping them as safe as I can.

Of course, other crimes will be considered on a case by case review at my sole discretion.

Thanks, 

 Yea absolutely. There are a few crazy liberal states where this is an issue but for the majority of the country this is no issue at all. We do it all the time. If you really wanted to you could simply say "Hey Mr tenant you're a felon? I don't rent to scum bags. Go pound salt bro". Note that, that specific route may cause you to get punched in the face. So however you're comfortable saying it will work as well.

 Although to some I would feel like saying this. I think for my business name I would TRY to keep it professional. 

I am putting a welcome kit together and was putting in how I am working to keep them safe with lighting, locks, background checks, etc. and got to the point on felons and when I looked it up the HUD portion kind of threw me off a bit. I am still a little worried about all of the crap people can and will take you to court on.

HUD says "A housing provider must… be able to prove through reliable evidence that it's policy or practice of making housing decisions based on criminal history actually assists in protecting resident safety and/or property."
I mean - Sure you can prove it in ways as offenders have a higher chance of offending again. But, I think it could still be hard to prove in court.

Thoughts?

 Any small time landlord like you has a bigger risk of getting struck by lightning than going through some court battle for denying a felon's rental application.

Originally posted by @James Kirby :
Originally posted by @James Wise:
Originally posted by @James Kirby:

To me, this is not a discrimination issue it is a protecting my neighbors and other tenants thing. Can you be straight up honest with your tenants and others in saying if you or others have Felony convictions that include a violent nature/sex crime of any sort and you have not been out of jail/prison for at least 5 years to prove yourself as rehabilitated then I do not want you in my property? 

I don't want to waste their time/money and I want my other tenants and neighbors to know that I am doing my job of keeping them as safe as I can.

Of course, other crimes will be considered on a case by case review at my sole discretion.

Thanks, 

 Yea absolutely. There are a few crazy liberal states where this is an issue but for the majority of the country this is no issue at all. We do it all the time. If you really wanted to you could simply say "Hey Mr tenant you're a felon? I don't rent to scum bags. Go pound salt bro". Note that, that specific route may cause you to get punched in the face. So however you're comfortable saying it will work as well.

 Although to some I would feel like saying this. I think for my business name I would TRY to keep it professional. 

I am putting a welcome kit together and was putting in how I am working to keep them safe with lighting, locks, background checks, etc. and got to the point on felons and when I looked it up the HUD portion kind of threw me off a bit. I am still a little worried about all of the crap people can and will take you to court on.

HUD says "A housing provider must… be able to prove through reliable evidence that it's policy or practice of making housing decisions based on criminal history actually assists in protecting resident safety and/or property."
I mean - Sure you can prove it in ways as offenders have a higher chance of offending again. But, I think it could still be hard to prove in court.

Thoughts?

 I would think that if you say 'all convicted or anyone with a record' you would not have a defensible position.  

However when one states that folks with a record of a violent or sexual nature its pretty easy to say that is protecting people.  And if one states that drug distribution, manufacturing, arson type offences are not acceptable it would be easy to show that that type of activity could destroy property.  And when you add a time limit, it seems even more reasonable that you are allowing someone to rent if they have shown they are rehabilitated.

Might be harder to 'pass the test' if you had other guidelines that eliminated those with a record of, say, embezzlement, alcohol on the beach, curfew, or marriage fraud.

Originally posted by @Lynnette E. :
Originally posted by @James Kirby:
Originally posted by @James Wise:
Originally posted by @James Kirby:

To me, this is not a discrimination issue it is a protecting my neighbors and other tenants thing. Can you be straight up honest with your tenants and others in saying if you or others have Felony convictions that include a violent nature/sex crime of any sort and you have not been out of jail/prison for at least 5 years to prove yourself as rehabilitated then I do not want you in my property? 

I don't want to waste their time/money and I want my other tenants and neighbors to know that I am doing my job of keeping them as safe as I can.

Of course, other crimes will be considered on a case by case review at my sole discretion.

Thanks, 

 Yea absolutely. There are a few crazy liberal states where this is an issue but for the majority of the country this is no issue at all. We do it all the time. If you really wanted to you could simply say "Hey Mr tenant you're a felon? I don't rent to scum bags. Go pound salt bro". Note that, that specific route may cause you to get punched in the face. So however you're comfortable saying it will work as well.

 Although to some I would feel like saying this. I think for my business name I would TRY to keep it professional. 

I am putting a welcome kit together and was putting in how I am working to keep them safe with lighting, locks, background checks, etc. and got to the point on felons and when I looked it up the HUD portion kind of threw me off a bit. I am still a little worried about all of the crap people can and will take you to court on.

HUD says "A housing provider must… be able to prove through reliable evidence that it's policy or practice of making housing decisions based on criminal history actually assists in protecting resident safety and/or property."
I mean - Sure you can prove it in ways as offenders have a higher chance of offending again. But, I think it could still be hard to prove in court.

Thoughts?

 I would think that if you say 'all convicted or anyone with a record' you would not have a defensible position.  

However when one states that folks with a record of a violent or sexual nature its pretty easy to say that is protecting people.  And if one states that drug distribution, manufacturing, arson type offences are not acceptable it would be easy to show that that type of activity could destroy property.  And when you add a time limit, it seems even more reasonable that you are allowing someone to rent if they have shown they are rehabilitated.

Might be harder to 'pass the test' if you had other guidelines that eliminated those with a record of, say, embezzlement, alcohol on the beach, curfew, or marriage fraud.

 Thank you. I think that you have given me some great ideas to run with. I truly appreciate it. 

Originally posted by @James Wise :
Originally posted by @James Kirby:
Originally posted by @James Wise:
Originally posted by @James Kirby:

To me, this is not a discrimination issue it is a protecting my neighbors and other tenants thing. Can you be straight up honest with your tenants and others in saying if you or others have Felony convictions that include a violent nature/sex crime of any sort and you have not been out of jail/prison for at least 5 years to prove yourself as rehabilitated then I do not want you in my property? 

I don't want to waste their time/money and I want my other tenants and neighbors to know that I am doing my job of keeping them as safe as I can.

Of course, other crimes will be considered on a case by case review at my sole discretion.

Thanks, 

 Yea absolutely. There are a few crazy liberal states where this is an issue but for the majority of the country this is no issue at all. We do it all the time. If you really wanted to you could simply say "Hey Mr tenant you're a felon? I don't rent to scum bags. Go pound salt bro". Note that, that specific route may cause you to get punched in the face. So however you're comfortable saying it will work as well.

 Although to some I would feel like saying this. I think for my business name I would TRY to keep it professional. 

I am putting a welcome kit together and was putting in how I am working to keep them safe with lighting, locks, background checks, etc. and got to the point on felons and when I looked it up the HUD portion kind of threw me off a bit. I am still a little worried about all of the crap people can and will take you to court on.

HUD says "A housing provider must… be able to prove through reliable evidence that it's policy or practice of making housing decisions based on criminal history actually assists in protecting resident safety and/or property."
I mean - Sure you can prove it in ways as offenders have a higher chance of offending again. But, I think it could still be hard to prove in court.

Thoughts?

 Any small time landlord like you has a bigger risk of getting struck by lightning than going through some court battle for denying a felon's rental application.

 I'm pretty sure you're right. Lol. I tend to worry to much. But I'm trying to build a strong foundation. 

Originally posted by @Jonathan Hulen :
Originally posted by @James Wise:
Originally posted by @James Kirby:

To me, this is not a discrimination issue it is a protecting my neighbors and other tenants thing. Can you be straight up honest with your tenants and others in saying if you or others have Felony convictions that include a violent nature/sex crime of any sort and you have not been out of jail/prison for at least 5 years to prove yourself as rehabilitated then I do not want you in my property? 

I don't want to waste their time/money and I want my other tenants and neighbors to know that I am doing my job of keeping them as safe as I can.

Of course, other crimes will be considered on a case by case review at my sole discretion.

Thanks, 

 Yea absolutely. There are a few crazy liberal states where this is an issue but for the majority of the country this is no issue at all. We do it all the time. If you really wanted to you could simply say "Hey Mr tenant you're a felon? I don't rent to scum bags. Go pound salt bro". Note that, that specific route may cause you to get punched in the face. So however you're comfortable saying it will work as well.

 This is one of the reasons I sold my property in Seattle. When they passed the first come first serve law I said enough is enough. Landlords have to rent to the first person that meets the requirements on paper. 

 Ya, I read some of the laws. That's scary. 

@James Kirby   Sounds like you've thought this out very well and are doing your research.  One thing I'll mention for others reading this is that, while criminal convictions can be taken into account by landlords (and I do), it's not entirely accurate to say it's "no issue at all" as some have said/implied with regard to how they're taken into account. 

Here's some guidance from HUD's Office of General Counsel on the topic that came out just a few years ago if anyone cares to read it: Office of General Counsel Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records by Providers of Housing and Real Estate-Related Transactions.

It's an interesting read.  Here's a couple excerpts from the document referenced:

"housing providers that apply a policy or practice that excludes persons with prior convictions must still be able to prove that such policy or practice is necessary to achieve a substantial, legitimate, nondiscriminatory interest. A housing provider that imposes a blanket prohibition on any person with any conviction record – no matter when the conviction occurred, what the underlying conduct entailed, or what the convicted person has done since then – will be unable to meet this burden."

And

"A housing provider with a more tailored policy or practice that excludes individuals with only certain types of convictions must still prove that its policy is necessary to serve a "substantial, legitimate, nondiscriminatory interest." To do this, a housing provider must show that its policy accurately distinguishes between criminal conduct that indicates a demonstrable risk to resident safety and/or property and criminal conduct that does not."

@Jonathan Hulen

Lol, just make the first person that meet your requirement is your friend / relative. How does the state track who view your property first?