Seattle Housing Ordinance Highlights Immediate Need for Landlords and Property Managers to Insure Compliance w/Law; Opines TenantScreeningUSA.com

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In 2018 a new ordinance in Seattle will simplify the process of renting a home or apartment for those with a criminal past and, potentially, allow for easier transition into mainstream society as secure housing is a critical component of reintegration. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of TenantScreeningUSA.com opines: “Any time a new law is enacted, as related to tenant screening, landlords and/or property managers should take immediate notice and review all policies with a well-qualified third-party tenant screening agency in order to maintain compliance with the law.”

Tenant Screening USA

TenantScreeningUSA.com

When a law governing tenant screening is enacted landlords and/or property managers should take immediate notice and ensure all tenant screening policies are current and compliant.

Seattle’s new ordinance, the Fair Chance Housing Ordinance, is a legal tool designed to assist those with a criminal background history to gain access to housing, which is a critical step toward reintegration into mainstream society. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of TenantScreeningUSA.com opines: “When a law governing tenant screening is enacted landlords and/or property managers should take immediate notice and ensure all tenant screening policies are current and compliant with governing law by working with a third-party tenant screening agency.

Once again Seattle has taken steps to reintegrate individuals with criminal histories by easing the path to obtaining housing. In a city that has experienced skyrocketing rental values many people are financially locked out of housing and when combined with recent incarceration opportunity at housing is greatly diminished.

Adam Almeida states: “The cost of renting continues to escalate at an increasing rate and Seattle is not alone as rental properties become difficult to obtain for average citizens. Combined with a criminal history rental properties can be out of reach.”

The issue of criminal history has been evolving as related to tenant screening.

From the Daily World opinion page, as written by Sheriff Bobby Guidroz regarding those seeking housing with a criminal past (dailyworld.com; Dec. 04, 17):

…there has lately been a lot of new legislation about whether you can deny to a person with a criminal history. Typically, if it can be shown that the crime they have been suspected of is directly related to a tenancy (ie. dealing/doing drugs from their previous apartment), then the landlord may be able to deny rental. (1)

But Seattle is striving to make a change in the rental process.

From The Regulatory Review (theregreview.org; Nov. 09, 17):

In Seattle, the City Council has taken steps to make it easier for former offenders to seek housing through a new ordinance that prevents landlords from screening tenants based on their criminal history. The Fair Chance Housing Ordinance, which will take effect in early 2018, will generally prohibit landlords from rejecting applicants based on arrest records or conviction history—especially when the applicants committed the crimes as juveniles. The ordinance will also prohibit landlords from categorically excluding tenants with criminal histories, such as through advertisements that explicitly discourage applications from these types of tenants. (2)

“In the end,” Almeida opines, “new changes, new ordinances governing tenant screening demand property managers and landlords review their tenant screening policies to ensure compliance with law.”

TenantScreeningUSA.com is a third-party tenant screening company with highly trained investigators well versed in the legal and lawful use of criminal history reports, and all public record reports, as part of a tenant background check.

Notes:

(1)    dailyworld.com/story/opinion/2017/12/04/how-handle-tenants-criminal-pasts/919790001/
(2)    theregreview.org/2017/11/09/ko-seattle-housing-ordinance/

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