Caution must be used when denying tenancy on the basis of the criminal history of the applicant. HUD recently issued guidelines which indicate that a blanket policy denying tenancy if the applicant has any criminal history would be considered a violation of the Fair Housing Act. Instead, any landlord who denies tenancy based on criminal history must take into account the type of crime as well as when it occurred and must be able to show that any screening policy regarding criminal history, “is necessary to achieve a substantial, legitimate, nondiscriminatory interest of the provider.” In addition, HUD disapproved the practice of denying tenancy based only on an arrest-without-conviction basis because arrests are not proof of guilt.
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