I just received an application from a couple and they noted that they have been convicted of a felony. As they were filling out the application in front of me they both told me about their own felony in the past. The male had 9 felonies all more than 12 years back, and she has a possession felony that she is on probation for (about 1 1/2 years ago). They both shared freely this info I didn't ask for any explanation, I assumed it would show on the background check. When doing the background check through Smartmove, nothing came up for either of them. I'm pretty sure i want to decline them as i believe the market is strong in the area.
My questions is can I decline them based on what they told me even those it's not in their background check and how do i word it in the decline letter. After reading many forums on BP i haven't gotten a really clear answer as to if this is discrimination or not. Even going through the State of Michigan landlord material i haven't really gotten a clear answer. This is the first denial i have done, and don't want to open my self to legal issues.
@Dave Derocher I do not allow felonies.
As far as I know, and I’m no lawyer, but as long as you have this same rule with ALL applicants and don’t accept some other applicant that also has a felony.... you’re good.
Felons are not a protected class. Leave it to NY, CA or OR to do something about it though.
The purpose of screening an application is to determine the level of risk to your income, the property, or the neighbors. If their felony is 12 years old a d they admitted it to you voluntarily, that sounds like someone that has paid their debt and is trying to get their life back on track. I wouldinvestigate further by checking landlord references, credit history, employment history, etc. For all you know, they've got a good history for the past few years and wouldn't lose any risk.
Or you can just dismiss them and go to the next applicant that may be hiding their past......
If someone had 9 felonies, I'm surprised they're on the streets. For my purposes, I'd need to know what they were for. I would actually be more concerned by the one recent one than the multiple 12 year old ones.
9 felonies ? Hard pass ! this is a person who doesn’t respect authority and WILL not respect your lease or you ! Giving people the benefit of doubt or a second chance is only going to cost you money In the end . I’ve recently had my dealings with an idiot like this needless to say I filed eviction at the district court today because I believed the tenant had turned over a new to way of life and stopped his wreck less ways . Big mistAke .
Mine took in stray dogs became a gross slob and never paid the rent ..then he stole the tenants rent in the apartment above him too and admitted to using it to buy crack cocaine . 1500 dollars gone forever of my rent ! Eviction can’t come quick enough with this scumbag . I’d like to throw him out on the cold snow covered street by the ear myself
Look Felons are not a protected class so screen these shysters right out . They can say they are redeemed how active they are in the church helping others etc .. and became a new person ...but don’t believe it . Accept this guy at your own peril because I don’t care if he donates blood at the Red Cross helps little old ladies cross the street and volunteers at the local soup kitchen the guy is surely going to give you problems !!