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Old 05-22-2008, 06:34 AM
 
55 posts, read 174,493 times
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So my wife and I are moving to a new apartment hopefully by the first of June so she can start her new job.

We found a place we really like and im in the process of filling out an application. In the past i have filled out many (job apps also) that always asked "have you ever been convicted of a felony?" which i havent so i always checked no. This application however simply asks "have you ever been convicted of a crime?"

Are they referring to felonies only? I unfortunately was convicted of a misdemeanor about a year ago. It was a non-violent crime, i bounced a check on accident. However as you can tell that might be a big deal to a new landlord. If they are referring only to felonies i would like to just check no. I dont however want to lie, but if i cant find a place in the next week im screwed.

So what do you think they are looking for? Even if they mean misdemeanors as well, do most of these rental companies actually do a criminal background check? my wife thinks they would most likely check references first, and then if a reference or two checked out kinda odd they might go that far to be sure. If i do mark it, is that an instant flag to not give us the apartment or will they give a chance at an explanation? thats why im not sure if i should put it down... i figure if i dont and they find out, im not getting the place anyway... so maybe i just dont mark it and they actually wont check?
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:53 AM
 
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Tell the truth. They may not care about your explanation if they find it on their own. This way, you have a chance to explain.

I've said it before, I'll say it again... people who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. Almost everyone has bounced a check. Some people have let it go so far as to be charged. Worst case with this, he may ask for the rent and deposit via cashier's checks. If you lie and he finds it, he won't rent to you. If he finds it after you move it, it could be considered a type of fraud.

Be safe, not sorry. Honesty is the best policy... how many more cliches could I come up with?
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,064 posts, read 27,109,597 times
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The thing is I don't think they can not lease you a place for a misdemeanor, obviously felonies are a different beast. Just because they ask, doesn't mean they have a right to know or to base their decision on it.
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Old 05-22-2008, 01:06 PM
 
3,647 posts, read 9,258,819 times
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I don't believe the Fair Housing Act extends protection to crimes (of any sort) or to lying on an application. Most apps have some sort of statement dealing with this, as do job apps (If any part of this is found to be misleading or untrue...)
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,408 posts, read 9,635,708 times
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It will probably show up on your background check, if they run the criminal background check as part of the pre-tenancy screening process. I would disclose it with an explanation.
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Apple Valley Calif
7,475 posts, read 19,467,080 times
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I agree, tell the truth, you will sleep a lot easier. We had a guy go to work for the company I worked for. He was there about six weeks, and was a super employee and a great guy. His background check came back, and he had lied about something. They had to let him go, even though they would have loved to have kept him, but he left them with no choice by lieing..
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:22 AM
 
Location: northeast US
739 posts, read 1,810,357 times
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I was arrested in 1968 while protesting the Viet Nam war. I've never said so on any rental/mortgage/credit application and have never had any repercussions for not disclosing.

I think you should keep it to yourself unless you're applying to work as a police officer, etc. It's not really a landlord's business, they just want to brainwash you into thinking it is, and I think it's very rare that they could get access to those records.
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Old 05-29-2008, 02:05 PM
 
55 posts, read 174,493 times
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ok well thanks for the advice

just to give an update, i chose to lie in the application and claimed no criminal record, got a call two days ago and they accepted the application.

All of the references i put down claimed they were never called, which is good because i fudged my # of years employed a little too...

so i guess they really dont do the checks
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,408 posts, read 9,635,708 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valkyr47 View Post

so i guess they really dont do the checks

It depends. I am a landlord and I do use a tenant screening service, and also in my lease agreements, there is a clause stating that if tenant lied on the application, that is grounds for eviction.
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Garland Texas
1,538 posts, read 6,292,032 times
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I would put it on there just to be safe. More then likely the bounced check will come on you background or credit check and they will simply ask that you pay with a money order.
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