It’s no breaking news that convicted felons have difficulties getting housing or jobs after finishing their sentence/coming out of prison. This is a big problem for felons, because they now have to find apartments/houses that are felony-friendly.
Getting a Job as a felon is a little less easy compared to finding a house. Felons who do not have any family will find it more difficult.
As a felon who is either searching for an apartment, looking for the best way to appeal to landlords or wants a guide on how to improve your chances of getting a felon-friendly apartment, this page is for you. I’ll also be sharing a list of the best online felon friendly renting platforms. We’ll help you resolve this issue today, and quickly get an apartment.
Does Landlord Have the right to deny a felon their property and How to Appeal to them?
The Fair Housing Act of 1988 discloses that a range of discrimination based on ethnicity, race, family status, disability, gender, and religion is illegal.
Here’s the Fair Housing Act of 1988.
The Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) was signed into law on September 13, 1988 and became effective on March 12, 1989. The Act amended Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin in housing sales, rentals or financing.
This means that you cannot sue a landlord because they refused to rent a felon an apartment. You can’t charge a landlord for refusing to rent an apartment due to the criminal record of the renter.
The only way that you can invoke the Fair Housing Act of 1988 is if the Landlord refuses to rent you an apartment based on your ethnicity. For example, A white felon can rent an apartment, but a black felon’s request is turned down. That is illegal and the landlord can be charged.
You should be aware that Landlords reserve the right to choose if they want to accept or reject a housing applicant, whether they are felons or not.
This is to help property managers and/or landlords reduce the risks of allowing criminals into their facilities, thereby endangering their lives, the lives of tenants, neighbours and the community as a whole. Landlords usually accepts tenants that have the capacity to pay regularly and are gainfully employed.
As a felon searching for apartments, it will be in your own good if you can throw in some extra good works. Landlords love tenants that clean regularly, are peaceful, with no violence, drug activity or gang connections.
As a felon, the first thing most Landlords look for in your application is whether you’re employed and can pay the rent. Next, you can try to volunteer during your free time or get some referees to back you up on good behaviour, etc.
Searching for apartments in some states usually comes with it’s own limitation. You should know that some states have placed limits on how far back a background check can go. In the following states mentioned below, an offense older than seven (7) years won’t show on your background report:
- New Hampshire.
- New Mexico.
- New York.
As well as looking at your criminal record, landlords are capable of pulling up your rental history, employment history, and credit report, and some may ask for your credit score, ensure you have a credit score up to 600.
Ways to Improve Your Chances of Getting a Felon Friendly Apartment.
It is no easy task finding an apartment that is accepting felons, it’s difficult but acceptable. To improve your chances of getting an apartment, these are life-saving tips that will help you in getting an apartment:
- Why most felons’ request for an apartment gets rejected is because they usually go for apartments in popular places. Here’s the secret, try searching for apartments in less popular areas. Go for apartments in places where the cost of living is not expensive. The reason why you should search for apartments in less popular places is that the demands for housing in these areas is not high, and rents are usually cheaper. Another viable reason is that in these areas, the protocol of background checks are light.
- Another way of quickly getting an apartment as a felon, is going for apartments in single-family homes or duplexes. More often than not, these apartments are usually handled by private owners and not management firms. What’s more, this allows you to beat protocols and background checks.
- Another great way to quickly get an apartment is to go for basement or single-room rentals. Why this is viable for felons looking for apartments is that low demand for basement or single-room rentals, a felony has higher chances of renting these types of houses.
- When surfing online for apartments for felons online, try ignoring categories like “Apt/Housing”, and instead, search for categories like “Sublets/Temporary” and “Room/Shared.”
- Make sure you carefully read through the listings, and if the required background check starts from beginning, most likely, you won’t get these types of apartments. Avoid them.
Online Platforms for Property Rentals.
Thank God for the internet. Felons searching for apartments can easily get a hold of felons-friendly apartments, if they know the right places to look. Sites like Craiglist have categories where landlords are looking for renters online, and you can browse through many apartments and get the most suitable one.
It does exactly as the name suggest, it helps you find apartments near you faster. You can get houses to rent here on this site without paying a dime. All that is required of you, is to visit this site, enter your location, choose the number of bedrooms, and use the selector to enter the minimum and maximum rent you can afford.
You can go further to ensure you get an apartment tailored to you taste by selecting from the options under the “more” tab.
Use the messaging system to send your questions about background policies, or call the contact number for the property.
One of the major downside of felons looking for apartments is talking to agents, explaining yourself, etc. Platforms like Craiglist helps you avoid situations like these, providing you access to speak with the landlords directly.
Through Craiglist, you will find properties where they don’t run a background check. Just filter the search with your price range and enter your requirements for the property and location.
Bungalow connects felons and provide them with some of the best-shared accommodations. One thing you should be aware of, is that these are not big apartment or duplexes, just a single room you are sharing with a person before you can stand on your feet and start paying full rents.
So long as you have a credit score of 600, you’ll be able to find an apartment without further inspection.
Another amazing platform where felons can get apartments is Zillow. Zillow is a popular online website where users can easily scan through a long list of properties for rent. However, you have to pass background checks for most of the properties shared on Zillow.
PadMapper.com provides felons the platform to search for apartments, houses, and rooms to rent. This site looks simple, and works simple too. All that is required of you, is to enter your area, and select your price range. Chose to view long or short-term rentals.
Although the listing details available on PadMapper aren’t as thorough as those on the other websites listed above, but you can use the messaging system to request more information from the renters.
There are other available online platforms that felons can search for felon-friendly apartments near me:
List of Felon Friendly Apartments.
- 434 N Spring Ave 1 Bedroom Apartment for Rent at 57104, Sioux Falls, SD.
- 217 S Summit Ave 1 Bedroom Apartment for Rent at 57104, Sioux Falls, SD
- 507 Douglas Street 2 Bedroom Apartment for Rent at 61701, Bloomington, McLean County, IL
- 2107 Todd Drive 1 Bedroom Apartment for Rent at 61704, Bloomington, McLean County, IL
- Pioneer Trail 17th St – 1027 17th St NW 1 Bedroom Apartment at 44703, Canton, Stark County, OH
- 2 Bedroom Home for Rent at Magoun St, Bloomington, 61701, Bloomington, McLean County, IL
- 425 / 1br – 750ft² – Downtown Superior, spacious, all new, at Duluth, Saint Louis County, MN
- 3 Bedroom Home for Rent at 1701 Johnson Dr, Normal, 61761, Normal, McLean County, IL
- 605 Bradley Drive 1 Bedroom Apartment for Rent at 605 Bradley at 61701, Bloomington, McLean County, IL
- 2 Bedroom Home for Rent at 313 Spruce Dr, at 45324, Fairborn, Greene County, Dayton, OH