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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 117375
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years experience.
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I have a Chattanooga Housing Authority rent. I live in

Customer Question

I have a Chattanooga Housing Authority for discounted rent. I live in Tennessee, but have been turned down for an apartment due to having NO CREDIT. Initially, I was told I could not rent due to a criminal record. I researched my criminal record; I found I did not have a record in Criminal Court IN Hamilton County Tennessee, but did have a record in General Sessions/Criminal Court. They told me that record could be ex-sponged if I would could in and pay my $450.00 fee and complete paperwork. I did go begin the process and the General Sessions Clerk advised me to have any rental agency to contact them. She called the charge "ancient" and should not create a. I went back to the agency, and she told me it was because I had no Credit Report. She told me to go get a credit card and come back in six-months. I asked her how I was to obtain a Credit Card when my only income was Child Support and I received a Housing Voucher for that reason. This rental property advertises we accept Section 8. They were also having a "blitz" to lure renters in; the sign outside their office stated, "Welcome Home" .
Initially when I called, they did tell me they accept Section 8, but did not have any rentals ready to show. That seems a little odd to me. Anyway back to the original question, Does Federal Law Prohibit them from renting to me due to the fact, I have no Credit Record. The words out of the rental agents mouth, "Federal Law prohibits me from renting to anyone without a Credit Report or Bad Credit Report, I'm not going to lose my job for doing so. How do other people get housing with bad credit or no credit if this is indeed Federal Law?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

They are lying to you, there is no federal law stating they cannot rent to you without a credit report or with bad credit. The agent is hiding behind making up laws as an excuse. You need to go to the housing authority and you need to file a complaint against the complex, since the credit report is not a law, it may be a requirement of the complex to make sure rent will be paid on time, but if you are receiving the section 8 voucher, they guarantee payment. So the agent is likely trying to avoid taking in an section 8 tenant, in violation of the HUD program and you need to file a complaint with the HUD office for discrimination under Section 8 and the Fair Housing Act.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please just email me the answer to my concern and also State specific law for me. I'm very tired of being run-over.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

I apologize but we have no way to email anything to customers of this site.

Also, I cannot produce a law to you regarding credit reports when there is nothing in the law. HUD allows the landlord to ask for a credit report, but it is NOT part of the law and not mandatory. See:

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well, I went back to their office and asked them to review the educational response. They told me, "we are a private owned company and we have Section 8 tenants with credit." They are still standing hard, and still refuse to accept the info. that they are being discriminating due to credit. They used the word f**k when my mom phoned and asked them to see me again. I told them my Mom and I were on the phone and I allowed her to speak with me since I have learning disability. When I went to their office, they told me I had a felony charge, which I showed them it was a General Sessions Charge and is being ex-sponged. They even cursed at me. These people need to be brought home to task. I am calling HUD, but as usual, we can't get an answer. Do you have anymore suggestions?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

So, as I said, there is no LAW, they lied about that to you. However, as I also said above, they have the right as a private landlord to make sure that the tenants can pay. They are discriminating against you based on Section 8, not credit, is more likely the case and that is why I told you that you need to go to the HOUSING AUTHORITY (HUD) and file a complaint for them violating the Section 8 program and denying you housing based on Section 8 (99% of the people in Section 8 have bad credit, so using the theory of bad credit they would never rent to any Section 8 tenants). You need to physically go into the local HUD office with your complaints.

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