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-   -   Where can a felon find an apartment? (http://www.worldlawdirect.com/forum/landlord-vs-tenant-issues/18712-where-can-felon-find-apartment.html)

Unregistered Apr 8th, 2010 06:13 PM

Re: Where can a felon find an apartment?
 
I just wanted to post my experience on here for others to read. I am 28 and was convicted less than 1 year ago of felony "grand theft" for writing a couple of bad checks while I was going through a very bad divorce. I also have very bad credit because my ex took out 4 credit cards in my name and maxed them out before I could realize that it had happened. For the last month, I had been looking for an apartment to share with a friend of mine, we went to all the apartments in the area that we liked and picked the 1 we liked best to attempt to pursue tenancy. This was a nicer complex, one of the more expensive ones in the area. The leasing agent had to submit my application through their corporate office because of the fact that I had a felony, and I still got approved.
Before I submitted the application, I wrote a short letter explaining the circumstance around my conviction, got a letter of compliance from my probation officer, a letter from my attorney explaining why my credit is so bad and that we are pursuing a lawsuit with my ex, an employer reference, and previous rental references. Because of my record, I do have to pay an additional deposit equal to one month's rent as well as pay in money orders for the duration of my lease.
For me, I was humiliated having to go to a potential landlord with this information about myself. All the applications we got said people with felonies will be denied and I was scared to death that I would be. Even the leasing agent was surprised that her corporate office approved me. I am so incredibly happy that I am getting into my first choice apartment, but I am very sympathetic to those of you who have struggled with this so much. I wish you all the luck in trying to find something that you actually want, not something you just have to settle for. My advice is to be completely upfront, go prepared with any referrals or references that you have. People do have hearts and they will help you if they can.

Unregistered Apr 12th, 2010 02:19 PM

Re: Where can a felon find an apartment?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 67618)
Sorry, but convicted criminals aren't a protected class of people. LLs are free to deny on criminal history. The recidivism rate is too high and too big a liability to risk tens or thousands of dollars of our hard earned money and property on the chance that you won't re-commit a crime. Keep out of trouble and in a short time you should have no problem finding a place.

Ehem, how should I put this?

Go to hell.

Now that we have that out of the way, do try to understand that the legal system is currently as corrupt as it's ever been and even the most MINOR infractions can be turned into felonies by having an ambitious DA looking to pad his record coupled with a falsified witness statement. It's very easy to slip between the cracks or to make a mistake that sets you up in a legal loop that seeks to keep jails filled and keep people scratching in the gutter.

You're clearly filled with the sort of hubris borne from never having had to deal with this sort of situation before. Try being human before you lip off about things you do not know.

As for advice to those seeking to rent so that they can make a stable life for themselves? Fight it! Fight fight fight! DO NOT allow them to tell you to be quiet. Be respectful but be strong and speak to the rental agency. Tell them how this situation is a part of your past and them speak to the judge. Explain how the conviction is negatively impacting your ability to remain stable and secure, both of which keep you from falling back to bad habits. If that doesn't work, check with renter advocacy groups. The internet if a good resource.

We ALL have the right to a home. ALL OF US, not just the meek and the mild who've never upset the status quo or have made a mistake in the past and damn anyone who says otherwise.

Unregistered Apr 12th, 2010 10:08 PM

Re: Where can a felon find an apartment?
 
"Now that we have that out of the way, do try to understand that the legal system is currently as corrupt as it's ever been and even the most MINOR infractions can be turned into felonies by having an ambitious DA looking to pad his record coupled with a falsified witness statement. It's very easy to slip between the cracks or to make a mistake that sets you up in a legal loop that seeks to keep jails filled and keep people scratching in the gutter."

Hmm, only a felon would think this way. The rest if the country thinks the system is as fair as is possible given all the regulations. This attitude will get you denied.

"As for advice to those seeking to rent so that they can make a stable life for themselves? Fight it! Fight fight fight! DO NOT allow them to tell you to be quiet. Be respectful but be strong and speak to the rental agency. Tell them how this situation is a part of your past and them speak to the judge."

Being forceful in this manner will only get you denied quicker. The more you push, the less likely it is that a complex will want to rent to you. Better to be honest from the beginning and positive in your tone. Telling them that their failure to rent to you is keeping you from being stable and secure is almost a threat and no one will accept you with that attitude. Better to explain that you have turned your life around and are no longer the person that you were. A positive tone is a better approach.

Unregistered Apr 17th, 2010 12:55 PM

Re: Where can a felon find an apartment?
 
Frankly; non-violent and non-sexual felons should be a protected class of individuals. About the shelter thing, it is a travesty. Should they be relegated to homelessness if they have the money to pay for an apartment? No. It truthfully should be about your ability to pay rent. If you have a felony there should be some law in place requiring a tenant probationary period. If six months goes by with no issue then the argument is void.

One of the direct causes of recitivism is our not letting individuals become normal citizens because of past anti social behavior. There needs to be some fundamental and serious revision in the law. Possibly, even limited immunity from background checks for certain felonies in reguards to things such as rent.
It's common sense.

A felon can find an apartment through private landlords and I'd suggest omitting past discrepancies.

Unregistered Apr 17th, 2010 01:07 PM

Re: Where can a felon find an apartment?
 
Yeah, the individual who made that comment is clearly a very static, cold individual. It's more of a plea bargain system than a justice system. I've known numerous people who entered into a plea to salvage what was left of their livelyhood. If you can't make the absurdly high bail and you have a family to support, what do you do? In the legal system a few months between court dates is the norm. But in the arena of reality it could be the difference between keeping your family, home and various facets intact or losing it all. So, many people don't have time to wait and they plead guilty to something that was probably a trumped up charge from the beginning. So, wait six or more months. Or plead guilty and salvage your life. Most (not all) will take the plea.

Then the Public Defender looks like they helped you and the DA looks like they did something. When in truth the only crime was the defendant lying in court by pleading guilty. A private attorney will often do the same thing but not always and if you have private attorney money you probably have bail money.

Unregistered Apr 18th, 2010 10:38 AM

Re: Where can a felon find an apartment?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 157855)
Frankly; non-violent and non-sexual felons should be a protected class of individuals. About the shelter thing, it is a travesty. Should they be relegated to homelessness if they have the money to pay for an apartment? No. It truthfully should be about your ability to pay rent. If you have a felony there should be some law in place requiring a tenant probationary period. If six months goes by with no issue then the argument is void.

One of the direct causes of recitivism is our not letting individuals become normal citizens because of past anti social behavior. There needs to be some fundamental and serious revision in the law. Possibly, even limited immunity from background checks for certain felonies in reguards to things such as rent.
It's common sense.

A felon can find an apartment through private landlords and I'd suggest omitting past discrepancies.

Anyone who would suggest that we protect ALL felons, just because their crimes were not violent or sexual is an idiot. In your description, anyone who commits multiple property offensives, robbing people's houses of all their valuables would have to be considered for an apartment. (Would you want to live next door to him? He'll be watching to see what you have as you move in!) Someone who regularly defrauds old people of their life savings should be considered. (Maybe we should make them protected in employment too so they can be hired as caregivers and make it easier for them? Or should we just rent them places in retirement centers?) Someone who has a lifetime of drug offenses should be considered. (You can go clean up the place after the meth lab next door.) This suggestion is so ridiculous, no one will take you seriously. How is it common sense to deny access to records such as these? The common sense is to allow all criminal records to be in the open to protect citizens from repeat offenders. You wouldn't want to live next door to these people, why should anyone else be forced to be their victims because you want to lump them all in one category??? There is a huge difference between a single offense committed as a youth and someone who chooses to commit crimes as an adult repeat offender!!!

To even suggest that we lump all non-violent and non-sexual offenders in the same class shows you have a poor attitude. To think that someone will not recommit a crime simply since they have been "clean" of drugs or has not committed a crime for the last 6 months is ridiculous. (BTW - probation is offered to most felons when they are paroled. Many recommit crimes during that period and are brought back into the prisons!) Feel free to live next to these people if you like. But I won't rent to them if they are a repeat felon. I DO consider those with a single non-violent felony committed as a young person who have had no repeat offenses through the years.

Further, to suggest applicants lie to LLs will get them instantly denied. Don't you think LLs do identity checks? Criminal record checks? Don't you think the lack of employment during the prison time will be a dead giveaway? Even if they somehow slip past the screening, they will be evicted later when it is found out that they lied on their application. Most applications and leases say that false information will result in termination. Why set someone up for failure like this? If the person committed one crime as a stupid mistake, it is better to own up to their mistakes. Admit them. Attest to how they have been crime free and that they no longer do such things. Your idea to lie only reinforces and proves to everyone that ex-felons are unworthy of renting to. By suggesting your course of action, you only continue to stereotype these people for all future LLs and renew the cycle of denials.

DGD Apr 20th, 2010 03:04 PM

Re: Where can a felon find an apartment?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 67618)
Sorry, but convicted criminals aren't a protected class of people. LLs are free to deny on criminal history. The recidivism rate is too high and too big a liability to risk tens or thousands of dollars of our hard earned money and property on the chance that you won't re-commit a crime. Keep out of trouble and in a short time you should have no problem finding a place.

You are a narrow-minded scumbag!!! I wonder if you would be so completely self righteous if you or your children were in a situation to have to suffer the indignity of being homeless simply because you trusted some lawyer to act in your best interest. What if you were falsely accused? A victim of circumstantial evidence? Does your blanket condemnation of all felons consider those scenarios? Grow up and realize that there is no such thing as black and white!

Unregistered Apr 20th, 2010 06:43 PM

Re: Where can a felon find an apartment?
 
I see nothing wrong with that quote.

People convicted of felonies are NOT a protected class. That much is true. No statute in any state forces LLs to consider a person with a felony record. No federal law gives those with felonies protected status (like those of color, religion, handicap, etc.)

LLs DO have tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in rental properties. Between the mortgages, down payments, the improvements made to ready the property to rent, there ARE tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in the average rental property. LLs are wise to made good choices in tenants to protect that investment.

Would it be smart to rent to someone who does not have a history of steady employment? Would it be smart to rent to someone who may not be able to pay the rent? Would you risk going into foreclosure or BK because a tenant could not pay rent? Let's look at the facts.

Per the Sentencing Guideline Commission in 2005, males had a recidivism rate of 65% for all crimes. African Americans males had the highest recidivism rate at 73%, followed by Native Americans at 72%, Caucasians at 65%, Asians at 53%, and Hispanics at 51%. As per the crime, those convicted of manslaughter were the least likely to recommit at 26%, while assaults recidivism rates were 56%, robbery 57%, drug crimes 61%, burglary at 64%, property crimes at 66%, and all others at 69%. Additionally most recidivism sentences involved multiple prior convictions (a rate of 3.84 crimes per recidivist sentenced.) And recidivism rates are increasing by almost 2.5% in the five years of this study.

The chances of someone recommitting a crime are about 65%. And it looks like once they recommit a crime, they are going to continue to do so (3.84 times to be exact). People play the lottery for less odds than this. And they are only risking a couple dollars. Why would a LL risk tens of thousands of dollars on those odds? There is a better chance that a felon will recommit a crime than not.

When it comes to risking that amount of money and investment, I cannot blame any LL for choosing not to rent to felons.

Unregistered Apr 23rd, 2010 03:33 PM

Re: Where can a felon find an apartment?
 
This is for the guy who has no name who made the last comment. I'm assuming your name is hypocritical ******bag, *******/********. I have had a felony charge for a dui in college. My whole life I've been a hard worker, have eared my undergrad, working on my grad and doctrate. don't listen to close minded biggots like the last guy who offered his ignorent opinion. First, I would sugggest looking into getting your felony expunged. Now, this does take some work, but it can be done as long as you can prove to the judge that since your felony, you've stayed out of trouble and made a positive change in your life. I'm a successful person now who made a bad decision as a young adult. I'm sure this prick has people in his family who has skeletons too, but it's ****bags like that who are so insecure, all they can do is judge and put others down. Another thing you can do is check out independent renters on craig's list. Don't lose hope. It's arrogent pieces of **** like this guy who has caused the catastrophy of what our world has become today. By the way, a.k.a. dickface, I have'nt taken a dime from you. I pay taxes and donate time and money to charity. So when you stand at the gates at heaven and god asks you what authority do you have to judge. Good luck with your response. Prick

Unregistered Apr 23rd, 2010 03:48 PM

Re: Where can a felon find an apartment?
 
My response to God? (You capitalize God out of respect.) I treated everyone fairly, protected my family, provided for them by making good investment choices with my money, and didn't go around calling others curse words when I disagreed with them. I'm sure I'll get in. With your attitude, you'll be turned back at the gate.

Why take offense at my post? I merely quoted government statistics widely and freely available to anyone. Those are true facts. The fact is that someone with a felony is more likely to recommit a crime than not. If you are in the other 35%, congratulations. I wish you all the best. But will I take chances with my family's money and my retirement because someone with a felony might not recommit? Sorry, I don't like those odds.


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