Can I Add a Felon to My Lease?


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Yes. You can add a felon to your lease. Handling life obstacles may often be a double-edged sword. Obtaining employment and your apartment may be difficult if you have felony or criminal behavior on your record.

Even if you have a solid salary and are poised to have your apartment, a possible landlord may be hesitant to lease you if your criminal background does not come up clean.

Landlords like excellent renters that pay on time, have strong credit and have a clean background. A background check is required as part of the application procedure to ensure this.

“Background checks are necessary,” experts say.” There are “several degrees of screening, including criminal, eviction, and credit. According to one survey, 44 percent of landlords would not ignore a criminal background. The chances are not in your favor if you have a history of violence. However, there are options for finding a rental. Admittedly, others are dealing with this problem. Thus, we have made this post to aid you. Come along.

Definition of a Felon 

Definition of a Felon 

A felon has been charged with and convicted of a criminal crime. This usually indicates that they were sentenced to at least one year in imprisonment or prison, probably more.

The legal consequences of a criminal conviction might be severe. However, many overlook the long-term influence a felony conviction might have on a person’s life. This is true even after they have finished their sentence.

A felony conviction will often stay on a person’s criminal background for the entirety of their life. Having a criminal record makes it harder to get work, acquire child custody and locate rental housing.

Furthermore, if a felon is accused and convicted of another offense in the future, the sentence will almost certainly be worse than the previous one.

Laws and Regulations Regarding Adding a Felon to a Lease

Landlords cannot refuse you housing based on your gender, sexual orientation, or religion, according to federal law. Criminal records, on the other hand, might be more difficult.

According to the legislation, if a record includes the destruction of property, a landlord may be legally entitled to deny an application. This suggests a possible issue in the future.

Furthermore, only some types of discrimination, such as discrimination based on ethnicity, faith, family status, or handicap, are unlawful. Many states and municipalities have introduced new categories, such as sexuality and gender identity.

However, convicted criminals are no longer on any state’s registry. However, it is unlawful for a homeowner to discriminate against a renter with a felony record for drug usage under federal law.

On the other hand, a landlord may discriminate against somebody with a criminal record for drug selling or manufacturing. It is very unjust in many circumstances to refuse someone housing based on a very old sentence, yet there is no legislation against it.

Potential Risks for Landlords 

Some potential risks when adding a felon to your lease include the following:

Potential danger to your renters

A convicted criminal who is nonetheless prone to crime poses a significant danger to the other tenants who live with them.

Financial loss

If you accommodate felons with pending charges, you may incur financial losses if they are possibly headed to jail.

What to Consider Before Adding a Felon to Your Lease?

Some things to Consider Before Adding a Felon to Your Lease include the following:

The nature of the offense.

It would help if you only accepted those who have committed nonviolent offenses. This is for the sake of the other renters’ safety. It is essential not to jeopardize their safety.

The time and date of the crime

It will be very dangerous to accommodate persons who have just committed offenses. Those with more than ten years of experience should be OK.

Charges that are pending

Only individuals with no current accusations of consequence should be accommodated. You will suffer a big loss if they are sentenced to prison.

Possible Benefits of Adding a Felon to Your Lease 

Some Possible Benefits of Adding a Felon to Your Lease include the following:

  • It provides you with the ability to confirm their identification.
  • Indicates your regard for the law and humanity.
  • It allows you to double-check the information on their request. This covers prior locations, employment, revenue sources, landlords, and income.

Alternative Options for Felons Seeking Housing

Alternative Options for Felons Seeking Housing

Some Alternative Options for Felons Seeking Housing include:

Look for apartments that do not need a background check.

A good place to start is to look for apartments that do not need a background check. Not all apartments require a background check as part of the usual application procedure. This is wonderful news for you since you won’t have to worry about your felony appearing on the application process’s background check section.

You may also look for “second chance rentals” if you have the time.” You’ll discover listings here that don’t normally need background checks and are usually felon-friendly residences. Everybody requires a place to live, and there are homeowners prepared to provide criminals with the second opportunity they require to get back onto their feet, find secure housing, and have a home to call their own.

Look for Community Organizations That Help Offenders.

Various reintegration teams and felony-friendly agencies may help those charged with a felony get back on. Whether you’re looking for work or a place to live, there are agencies all around the country that can help.

We recommend compiling a list of these organizations and contacting them individually. Again, it would help if you asked pertinent questions to adapt to your situation.

Contribute to Local Non-Profits

Volunteering your time and efforts to local non-profits looks terrific on any resume. Volunteering for non-profit organizations demonstrates your commitment to providing important services as a collaborator and contributor in the community. Find a few hours each week to volunteer at a local non-profit. As with any venture, you should be committed to providing your services and receptive to the beneficial changes it may bring.

Make use of both local and national materials.

Several local and national agencies are available to assist persons with crimes in obtaining housing. Begin by researching local non-profits to determine if any initiatives assist persons with felonies in getting back onto their feet.

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, is an excellent place to start. They provide low-income housing to needy individuals and maintain a list of felon-friendly residences.

Look for private landlords.

Instead of looking for homes in buildings managed by property management organizations, look for apartments individually owned by an individual owner.

When candidates seek to rent from management businesses, they often undergo extensive background and screening procedures. Working with an understanding homeowner may be preferable to dealing with a management business.

Talking with a specific person may also be beneficial when explaining your position – preferably in person, with sufficient documentation. You may have a better chance of convincing the landlord to rent to you if he can show that you are not the person your record suggests you are.

Demonstrate that you are a success story.

Bring appropriate documents demonstrating your excellent character. You should be prepared with paperwork that illustrates how you’ve taken steps to move ahead, much like others who have been foreclosed or have terrible credit.

Bring positive letters or references from friends, relatives, and employers or organizations where you’ve worked or volunteered. These indicate that you are a trustworthy individual who is reintegrating into society with a good attitude.


Ultimately, it is illegal for a landlord to decline your application based on your felony history. Clever landlords are aware of the legislation and would not tell you that is the basis for declining the application.

This is why it is critical to have the remainder of your application package ready. If you believe you have been discriminated against because of the conviction, speak with your local HUD agent to learn about your options. The advice provided above will also be quite beneficial.

Expert Advice

Being a criminal has a variety of repercussions. It may take you longer to locate an apartment than the typical individual who does not have a criminal record.

It is better to be truthful regarding your circumstances to have a gentle landing. Remember, it’s not intimate if a landlord refuses to rent to you. Landlords and property management organizations wish to minimize their liabilities with renters.

Don’t give up, and be diligent in your quest. Consider this a job audition, and when meeting with possible property owners, dress well, be courteous, and bring recommendations.

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