California County Restricts Landlords From Checking Criminal Records Of Renters

In an effort to make it simpler to find housing and combat prejudice, a county in California approved legislation that forbids landlords from checking the criminal histories of potential tenants.

A Fair Chance housing legislation was approved by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday with a vote of 4-0. A member didn’t vote.

The ordinance is one of several measures related to tenant protection.

The law will make it illegal for landlords, both private and public, to request applicants to reveal their past arrests or convictions. Additionally, it outlaws any advertising that deters someone with a criminal record from applying for housing.

According to Fox San Francisco, the ordinance is applicable to the majority of residential units in the unincorporated areas of Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview, San Lorenzo, and Sunol. It happens at a time when housing costs in the Bay Area are soaring and there is a homelessness crisis.

Alameda County needs more housing, not “more bureaucracy and more restrictions,” according to the California Apartment Association, which slammed the decision.

“The county is wasting time by adopting new limits on a landlord’s ability to protect their tenants’ rights and provide quality housing,” the group claimed in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Rather than focusing on building affordable homes and lifting its eviction moratorium, the county is wasting time.”

“The Board of Supervisors must lift the COVID era eviction moratorium which invites tenants to not pay their rent even if they never suffered a COVID-related hardship before placing new regulations on housing providers,” the statement continued. Instead of wasting time on ineffective regulations, Alameda County should follow other cities in the state and repeal its outmoded and legally dubious eviction moratorium.

When the county’s moratorium on epidemic evictions ends at the end of April, the new law will go into force.

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