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Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33802
Experience:  15 years practicing criminal defense.
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Can an apartment complex deny you residence conviction that

Customer Question

Can an apartment complex deny you residence for a conviction that IS NOT sexual, drug related or violent??
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Having a criminal conviction doesn't put someone in a protected class like race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, etc., does under the law. So a landlord is legally permitted to discriminate against someone based on their criminal history.

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The California Fair Employment and Housing Act prevents landlords from discriminating between would-be tenants on the grounds of their sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, ancestry, national origin, source of income, disability or medical condition. However, in the case of Marina Point v. Wolfson, the California Supreme Court decided that the Unruh protections are not necessarily restricted to these characteristics.

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However, the landlord must apply any standard evenly across the board in order for it to be legal discrimination. So if they deny an applicant who has a specific criminal conviction, then they have to deny any other applicant with the same background. Fair housing laws require you to apply background check and screening criteria consistently to every applicant. In other words, if you turn one would-be tenant away because of an entry on his criminal check but accept another ex-offender, you're breaking the law.

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for you help.
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.

You are very welcome. Glad to help even if the news isn't favorable to your situation..

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If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided so I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me.

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thanks much

Barrister

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