Landlords Can Breathe A Sigh Of Relief; You Don’t Have To Lease To Registered Sex Offenders
There is a common misconception that landlords are required by fair housing laws to not deny renters simply because they are registered sex offenders. Many who hold this perspective use the logic that somebody who is a sex offender likely has a disability or mental illness of some kind and therefore cannot be denied because people with disabilities are protected by fair housing laws.
This is scary to a lot of landlords because they don’t want to let anybody in their apartment community that can be a danger to others. Luckily, there are clauses provided by the U.S. Department of Justice to clarify who counts as an individual with disabilities.
In the U.S. Department of Justice website, it states about fair housing laws, “Current users of illegal controlled substances, persons convicted for illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance, sex offenders, and juvenile offenders are not considered disabled under the Fair Housing Act, by virtue of that status. The Fair Housing Act affords no protections to individuals with or without disabilities who present a direct threat to the persons or property of others.
This clause was true as of 12/12/2014. Laws always change and you should conduct thorough research into fair housing laws directly before choosing to deny rent to anyone.
** Always be sure to follow all proper procedures when handling a tenant. Please be sure that any metric you use in review of an application must be applied to all applications to rent. A comprehensive view of F.C.R.A. law and procedures can be found here. Also be sure to follow all fair housing laws and not to discriminate based on race, gender, minority group, etc. Please also observe local ordinances, which may supersede some federal laws. **