Property Owners/Managers are in the business of leasing quality rental housing to quality prospective residents. All applications are processed with the goal of extending an offer to lease, to qualified applicants. Unfortunately, not all applications can be approved.
U.S. Justice Department filed a “Statement of Interest” in a housing lawsuit, warning landlords who consider criminal records in evaluating prospective tenants to not use overly broad generalizations that disproportionately disqualify people.
The Justice Department states in its filing that “categorical prohibitions that do not consider when the conviction occurred, what the underlying conduct entailed, or what the convicted person has done since then run a substantial risk of having a disparate impact based on race or national origin.” The brief explains that when a housing provider has a criminal record check policy with a disparate impact, the housing provider must “prove with evidence – and not just by invoking generalized concerns about safety – that the ban is necessary.”
POEknows has created the Matrix and the Individualized Assessment which we can conduct on every applicant for whom our clients intend to not extend a lease, due to a criminal record. The written criminal records Matrix, while not a part of the IA, is a valuable tool, used in addition to the IA. Whether conducted in-house by our clients, or conducted on our clients behalf, by POEknows, the Individualized Assessment, at the very minimum, will review the criminal background of the denied applicant and reassess the so-called Green Factors:
the nature of the crime(s);
the severity of the crime(s)
when the crime(s) occurred.
Additionally, our IA Coordinator will also allow the applicant to present mitigating factors if he or she chooses to do so and allow members of the Community to offer supporting information.
Contact us today about getting started on Individual Assessments (IAs) for your applicants!