Renting to tenants with criminal history

By Tenant

As a landlord, you are actually giving a stranger key to your own property.  It is really very important for a landlord to take extra time to select the right tenant to live in his rental unit in order to protect his investment property. There are ways to differentiate tenants from the good ones to those who may cause problems down the line and here are some ways.

  • Abide by the Fair Housing Rules. Even though you desire to have a right tenant for your rental unit, you are not exempted to abide the Federal Fair Housing Act. As a landlord, you must avoid any charges of discrimination by abiding to this act.
  • Must have a good credit. Also you may want to have a tenant who is financially responsible. A tenant who is paying his bills responsibly will most likely be able to pay his monthly rent and dues on time without any problem. You have to verify their income and make sure that what they earn is three times more than his monthly rent.
  • Run a criminal background check. Make sure to have a valid ID from the tenant to make sure that the information they gave you are true and at the same time for you to know if they really are who they say they are. Remember that any criminal information can be viewed at any court houses for it is a public record.
  • Check their rental history. Ask the name and number of their previous landlords (at least two) so that you can talk to them about the tenant’s stay at their rental units. This way you can know if there are any problems the tenant may have caused the previous landlords.

Considering all these can help a landlord choose the right tenant for his rental property and may save him money for those costly evictions and repairs for any damage on the apartment if ever the tenant refused to pay.

Edited on: Monday, March 18th, 2013 12:22 am

15 Responses to “Renting to tenants with criminal history”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


March 18th, 2013 12:40 am

I would definitely not want to live in an apartment building where I have to face a tenant with a criminal history.


March 18th, 2013 12:00 pm

It would be very scary living with a criminal on the next door.


March 18th, 2013 11:20 pm

Everyone deserves a second chance. So why not try to be polite in order not to upset your neighbour and cause any violent reactions from them.


March 19th, 2013 10:40 am

As a landlord I would be very careful to whom I would rent my place with. If anything happens to my apartment it will be heart-breaking.


March 19th, 2013 10:00 pm

If I refuse any application from tenant who has a criminal history


March 20th, 2013 9:00 am

Hey where can I find information on that fair housing act?


March 20th, 2013 8:20 pm

Tenants with criminal records are pretty nasty when angered.


March 21st, 2013 7:40 am

I never experienced living in an apartment complex that has ex-criminal in it


March 21st, 2013 7:00 pm

I live in a pretty dangerous community and I believe I have a lot of neighbours that have criminal backgrounds and history and yet we get along pretty fine.


March 22nd, 2013 6:20 am

I think it always up to the landlord if they want to risk it and let them live in his apartment.


March 22nd, 2013 5:40 pm

I guess it depends on what crime they were into in the past.


March 23rd, 2013 5:00 am

Who cares if they are a changed man? A criminal is always a criminal.


March 23rd, 2013 4:20 pm

If they can pay for their rent I do not mind other tenant’s business then why not let them live in the apartment complex?


March 24th, 2013 3:20 am

It is unfair to their part if they are working very hard but cannot get an apartment because they have a felony record.


March 24th, 2013 2:40 pm

If I allow an ex-felon in my apartments then I will have to deal with the other tenants complain about their safety and all and it would certainly cause me a lot of headaches.


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