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California

CA: Oakland votes to bar landlords from conducting background checks

Oakland on Tuesday moved to become the first city in the state to ban landlords from investigating the criminal history of renters applying for both public and private housing. …

Landlords will be allowed to look up a prospective tenant on the state’s sex offender registry, but only after providing a conditional offer to the potential renter. Full Article

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Oakland-could-be-first-in-state-to-ban-criminal-14992798.php

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/oakland-could-be-first-in-state-to-ban-criminal-background-checks-for-rental-housing/ar-BBZbUXh?ocid=hplocalnews

Join the discussion

  1. SR

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED, that RC’s are excluded yet again.

  2. R M

    Try this website for access as eastbaytimes requires payment.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2020-01-22/oakland-bans-tenant-criminal-background-checks

    Yet “Currently, the federal government requires landlords to reject potential tenants who have been convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine or are on the state’s lifetime sex offender registry.”

    • JohnDoeUtah

      The federal requirement is only for Section 8 housing. If the landlord is not a participant in Section 8, there should not be an exemption.

  3. Bay Area Resident

    Interesting…
    I’ll chalk it up as a win, because it’s already codified statewide that you cannot use the registry to deny employment or housing.

    How it’s enforced is going to be something else.

  4. TS

    If a conditional offer is offered, then can they retract it upon discovering info on the infernal registry? That would seem like discrimination then since it is not supposed to be used against someone as detailed in the fine print as I understand it. Maybe I am wrong…

    Maybe they would do the same with a credit check for example when nowhere it states what the credit score must be a minimum of?

  5. USA

    I don’t rent, but this is absurd!

    • Archie

      Seems like a win to me, although this change is suppose to already be codified in state law. Remember, in most states, landlords are free to discriminate in renting to rso’s

  6. Eric

    I thought using the public SO registries was already illegal for any other purpose than personal information. I thought screening tenants was not allowed.

    • Rob

      That was the original intent. Its always changing. Think they should have a log-in check system. Like they did when it was just a CD (before the website). Anybody viewing the sex registry CD had to log their name or something like that.

  7. Matt Duhamel

    Living with a sex offense is like a felony x 3 when it comes to living in society. And this is a great example of this. Article states: “But landlords can still review the state’s sex offender list when examining a housing application.” Once again, people with a sexually based offense are left in the cold.

  8. Crami

    When my Girlfriend told me about this I got excited cause we are hoping to find a place for ourselves in the east bay but things have been difficult, figures RC would be excluded.

  9. Harry

    This “everyone except RCs” should be next agenda item on the lawsuit calendar.

  10. Agamemnon

    Glad to know if I was an arsonist I’d be welcome back with open arms into a crowded residential complex

  11. mike r

    You know what no one ever brings up? The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Those two words there, “Corrections and Rehabilitation” what exactly do they mean. I mean the definition of the words.

    Correction
    a change that rectifies an error or inaccuracy.

    Rehabilitation
    the action of restoring someone to former privileges or reputation after a period of disfavor-the action of restoring something that has been damaged to its former condition.

    Every time someone uses a criminal conviction as disqualification for anything are stating the system does not work. The federal government is even doing it with their rules and restrictions.

    It sure seems this can be used against the system some how.
    I feel it is cruel and unusual punishment to force people to go through this barbaric penal system when it does not work (proven by their rules and disqualifications for criminal records) and they do not even try to change or improve in any way.

  12. mike r

    Shit, I bet even Russia and China would call our penal system barbaric and cruel.

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