Your Criminal History & Renting

How Does My Criminal History Affect My Ability to Tent?

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How Does My Criminal History Affect My Ability to Tent?

A misdemeanor or a felony appearing on your criminal history report can certainly cause a potential landlord to reconsider you as a future tenant. It all boils down to the circumstances behind your criminal background, and the competition you might be facing to acquire the apartment or rental house.

The reason a misdemeanor or felony conviction could affect your ability to rent is because landlords do a rental history report background check on applications. Landlords are looking to see if candidates have a good history of paying rent on time, don’t show any previous eviction records and have good credit standing that would indicate they can afford monthly rental payments.

In communities where competition for rental housing is fierce, making certain your rental history report is error-free and shows you in a good light can certainly give you a boost ahead of your competition. Here are two reasons a report could have errors on it.

1. Credit report is inaccurate – Many entities provide information to the three major credit bureaus, which then compile this information into reports and calculate a credit score based on complicated algorithms. One piece of information attributed to the incorrect name, or incorrectly labeled as being paid late, could throw off this algorithm.

2. Misidentification – A human error of typing in a Social Security number or having a common name are two ways the wrong information could be placed into your report via a credit report, a criminal record or even your address history report. Be sure to look for these errors and have them resolved prior to applying for rental housing.

If your conviction was for a situation that could make a landlord think twice about renting to you, be sure to address the topic first, letting the landlord know you’ve paid your dues for the crime, and highlight the length of time your record has been clean since the incident.