Significant Guidance Changes from HUD Will Force Private Property Landlords to Review Rental Policies, States TenantScreeningUSA.com

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Criminal records face greater scrutiny over fair and legal use during the tenant screening process conducted by private property landlords as the Department of Housing and Urban Development releases a new guidance. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of TenantScreeningUSA.com states: “The new guidance released by HUD severely limits the use of criminal history as part of tenant vetting and highlights potential legal action thus displaying the urgent need for all private property landlords and property managers to work with a third-party tenant screening company in order to maintain compliance and avoid potential penalty.”

Tenant Screening USA

TenantScreeningUSA.com

The new guidance with HUD is going to have a significant impact on landlords and property managers and now is definitely the time to work with a qualified third-party tenant screening company in order to maintain full compliance

Recently the Department of Housing and Urban Development released a new guidance covering the use of criminal records as part of tenant screening. Much like ban-the-box legislation and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s own guidelines, criminal records have come under increasing scrutiny over fair and non-discriminatory use in tenant and pre-employment screening.

Adam Almeida, President and CEO of TenantScreeningUSA.com states: “The new guidance from HUD marks a significant change in governance over the use of criminal records and it is absolutely critical that private property landlords use a third-party tenant screening company in order to remain fully compliant with HUDs guidance as well as any additional law governing the use of public records, such as criminal background records.”

On April 4, 2016 the New York Times posted an article covering HUDs new guidance and succinctly surmises the potential effects of the guidance.

From NYTimes.com (Apr. 04, 16):

Private landlords who have blanket bans on renting to people with criminal records are in violation of the Fair Housing Act and can be sued and face penalties for discrimination, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development said. (1)

In recent years the EEOC and HUD have maintained a watchful eye regarding the use of criminal records as a restrictive tool utilized by employers and landlords.

Almeida states: “The federal government is seeking to ease the transition of former prison inmates back into society and allow an equal opportunity both in employment and housing.”

From NYTimes.com (Apr. 04, 16):

Concern over restrictions that hinder former prisoners’ efforts to find jobs and homes has taken on urgency in recent years, as pressure has built to ease the high rates of incarceration that followed decades of tough sentencing for drug offenses, which took a harsh toll on minority communities. (1)

Julian Castro, Secretary of HUD, is seeking to eliminate discrimination and allow better integration of formerly incarcerated individuals back into mainstream society.

From HousingWire.com (Apr. 04, 16):

“Right now, many housing providers use the fact of a conviction, any conviction, regardless of what it was for or how long ago it happened, to indefinitely bar folks from housing opportunities,” Mr. Castro said in a statement. (2)

Almeida states: “The new guidance with HUD is going to have a significant impact on landlords and property managers and now is definitely the time to work with a qualified third-party tenant screening company in order to maintain full compliance with all laws governing the use of public records in tenant screening.”

TenantScreeningUSA.com provides full service tenant screening for landlords and property managers of any size and can greatly assist in remaining fully compliant with all existing law governing tenant screening. With a highly trained and experienced staff, TenantScreeningUSA.com can provide help to landlords and property managers with all tenant screening needs.

Notes:

(1)    nytimes.com/2016/04/04/nyregion/federal-housing-officials-warn-against-blanket-bans-of-ex-offenders.html?_r=0
(2)    housingwire.com/articles/36693-hud-announces-landlords-cant-ban-ex-convicts

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