Rental Criteria and Individual Assessments

Can I decline an applicant for any criminal record? What is an individual Assessment and why is it important?

Denying an applicant for having any criminal record EVER may be over reaching and could get you into trouble. Having a clear, consistent criteria and providing an individualized assessment for each applicant gives you the vital protection you need to expertly manage your properties. An individual assessment will help you make a fair judgment by assessing the risk criminal charges might pose to person or property. The criminal record must show a demonstrable risk or foreseeability of likely risk of harm in the future to persons or property. Your detailed criteria should evaluate the risk and make this step fairly easy. Use the steps below to perform an individual assessment and make sure to consult with your local attorney. 

How to Perform an Individual Assessment When Criminal Records are Found

Do these factors change your risk?

  • The nature and severity of the criminal offense;
  • The nature of sentencing;
  • The number of the applicant’s criminal convictions;
  • The age of the individual at the time the criminal offense occurred;
  • Evidence of rehabilitation;
  • The individual history as a tenant before and/or after the conviction;
  • Whether the criminal conviction(s) was related to or a product of the applicant’s disability, and;
  • If the applicant is a person with a disability, whether any reasonable accommodation could be provided to ameliorate any purported demonstrable risk.

Note: You do not need to relitigate the case. You must require convincing documented proof of rehab, case inaccuracies, or relevance, etc. The applicant simply saying they will be a good tenant is not enough.


Watch the video below to learn more:


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