AgentRentals

Criminal record puts squeeze on renters

Landlords must weigh convictions against tenant safety

The real estate event of the summer
Connect with other top producing agents at Connect SF, Aug 7-11, 2017

Q: After consulting your book, "Property Management for Dummies," and speaking with an attorney, I found a discrepancy in opinion involving tenant applicants with criminal records. Your book said that I can deny a rental application submitted by a convicted criminal in order to protect my current tenants from having their items stolen. However, the attorney I spoke with said a landlord can deny an application only if it's based on bad credit and income history, even if the applicant has a considerable criminal history and is currently on probation for stealing and drugs. Has the law changed in the past few years?

A: I think I can clear up what you see as a potential discrepancy. As is so often the case with tenant-landlord legal issues, there are subtle interpretation differences, and slightly different facts can change the answer. While I'm not an attorney, as a property manager for more than 30 years I believe I see what the attorney is suggesting and why. ...