New HUD Guidance - Rejecting an Applicant due to Criminal History may be Discriminatory

I thought this was very relevant given recent threads on tenant screening.

HUD has issued guidance that you must be more careful about how you decline tenants with a criminal history. For example, if someone was arrested but not convicted, you should not decline their application.

Even if someone was convicted you have to somehow show that your policy has been tailored so that “certain types of convictions must still prove that the policy is necessary to serve a “substantial, legitimate, nondiscriminatory interest.”” I interpret this to mean you’re still okay to reject a sex offender in a MHP full of families with young children, but maybe not a felony-convicted non-violent pothead.

It also goes on to say that landlords must be consistent in their application of criminal checks when considering applicants. Another example - if you have accepted a White person with a criminal history, but rejected a Hispanic for the same reason then that’s a FHA violation.

Here it is…