'To avoid discrimination, according to the AG's office, landlords must first consider what a felony conviction was for, how long ago it was, and what the applicant has done since before rejecting a potential tenant.'

That's eminently reasonable and useful in a colorblind way of making sure people who've served their debt to society can live and work normally to return to being productive members of society.

Even if you're a conservative who doesn't want to acknowledge the disparate impact on black Americans in particular, you ought to want anyone who went to prison to be able to look forward to having a decent home and life they care about preserving. Otherwise they'll always be forced to live a slum or some area where you're marginally connected to productive society and far more likely to return to criminal activity when that's what's prevalent socially and economically around you.
@1 - agree. Some bullshit marijuana charge from back in the day, vs repeated aggravated assaults on apartment neighbors from a few months ago. Not the same thing.
If the AG feels this strongly why not work with the legislature to create an expungement process or work to de-felonize low level drug offenses?
Racial discrimination is endemic in the rental market, but most convicted felons are white. The AG is properly enforcing non discrimination laws here but property managers are still able to keep out convicted criminals and some will continue to indulge their racial biases when making those decisions. Building racial equality is a lifelong commitment, we can't say "I voted for Ferguson" or Obama and think we're done.


Landlords should be able to rent to WHOEVER THEY WANT.
Do Landlords have the Right to ban Felons?

If there is no Law against it, why make one?

Would you rent a room in your house to a Felon?
And don't say "It depends what it is".
That's a cop-Out.
Either you'll rent a room to a Felon, or you won't.

So, you're totally okay with landlords renting only to straight White Christians, if that's what they want to do?
I wonder how many commentators on Slog would open up their homes to rent a room to someone who was just released from prison? Given the typical level of left wing and right wing hypocrisy we see every day I'm willing to bet that number would be in the single digits.
As a landlord if I rent to a felon, and then this new tenant/felon harms another tenant I can be held liable for creating the unsafe space. So I do not want the added liability and would prefer not to rent to felons. I call it common sense!
#8 you are totally correct about hypocrisy. A person renting a room in their home is exempt from this rule and can legally deny all felons.
@6 I've lived with people who had prior felonies before. Yes, with unlocked doors and everything. One even had a second degree murder conviction from a couple decades prior. People really do turn their lives around.

I think a better solution would be something like the UK's Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Basically, if you don't reoffend, then after a certain period of time, depending on the severity of the offense, your felony is considered "spent" and essentially wiped from your record.

In other words, it gives you full rehabilitation into society. You no longer have to report your record to anyone (except in certain narrow cases), not landlords, not employers, not the police. It doesn't turn up on background checks. You are simply no longer a felon.
@1, @2 -- Thank you for explain the subtleties in the law in a clear and concise manner.

@9 -- You might want to start by reading those first two comments. There is nothing stopping you from saying "Wait a second, this guy has been convicted of multiple assaults -- I'm not renting to him". What you can't do, is simply ban all applicants based on felony convictions.

It is no different than a similar law that covered applications. In that case, applicants who committed a crime -- any crime -- were simply weeded out before they got to the interview stage. So guys that got caught for having a joint were put in the same box as rapists. The law was changed, and you could turn down both guys -- but you have to give them a shot at explaining themselves (assuming they are qualified). Actually in that case it simply isn't a part of the application process, just the interview process.

The point being that there is nothing stopping a landlord or employer from specifically excluding someone because of a felony, they just can't exclude all felons in a blanket manner.

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