As anyone who has ever been convicted or charged with a crime will tell you, renting an abode can be next to impossible when the prospective landlord sees a ‘black mark’ pop up on a background check; especially if that ‘ignominy’ is for a violent offense. Landlord’s use background checks to screen out prospective tenants with criminal records. As a result, many people cannot obtain housing for their families because they have a criminal record. Living with friends, couch surfing and even homelessness are an often too common side effect.
To curb this problem, a campaign (Entitled: Fair Access to Renting for Everyone, F.A.R.E.) was recently launched by a group of organizations to push Seattle to enact new legislation banning landlords from automatically rejecting all prospective tenants that have criminal records or are facing criminal charges. In support of the campaign’s purpose, Mayor Ed Murray has even said that, “people who have exited the criminal justice system and paid their debt to society have a right to fair access to housing”. F.A.R.E. is seeking to mirror legislation from 2013 that restricted how employers can use conviction and arrest data during the hiring process. It will be interesting to see if F.A.R.E. is successful. After all, there are a lot of folks fearful of having a ‘criminal’ next store; as they say – fear is the beast that feeds our attention.
A criminal charge and/or conviction can have many lasting impacts, not just the inability to lease or rent a home. It thus should go without saying (but we will say it anyways) if you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge, you should immediately seek the advice of a qualified Seattle criminal defense attorney before resolving their case. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether cited for a driving theft, a driving offense, prostitution, possession and/or distribution of drugs, assault, property destruction or some other law violation, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys immediately.