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Renting with a felony: Things to consider

When you're living with a felony, there's a potential for your past to make your present very difficult. It's particularly difficult for some people with criminal pasts to rent apartments.

Everyone needs somewhere to live, so having difficulty getting an apartment is a big deal. Sadly, even if it's been 10 or 15 years since a conviction, there's a chance it could still hold you back from getting an apartment to call home. A landlord has the right to refuse you based on your criminal history at his or her discretion.

Across the board, most rental companies and individual landlords adopt a "no felony conviction" requirement. However, not every landlord is the same, and not every major company is the same. It's possible to find somewhere to live, but you'll have to be calculating.

First, remember that people don't take on people with felony backgrounds because of the risk. To help paint yourself in a better light, make sure you get the best possible references and look as responsible as possible. Be honest about your background, because the landlord will inevitably check your background for a criminal record.

Another thing to remember is that there's a possibility to have your record expunged. Doing this helps remove your past from the public eye, eliminating the chances of being turned down because of a past felony. Not all cases are eligible for expunging, but your attorney can help you understand if this is a possibility for your case.

With help, you can find a place to call home, even if you have a spotted history.

Source: For Rent, "Leasing an Apartment with a Felony Conviction," accessed March 13, 2018

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