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HUD and Background checks.

HUD and Background checks.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development issued the Fair Housing Act (ACT) following the Aug. 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling which stated persons with a criminal record are not a protected class, however making a rental decision based on the individual's criminal history has a disproportionate negative impact on person belonging to a protected class.(http://www.scotus.com/case-files) Why is this important? US Bureau of Justice states nearly 1/3 of the US population have committed a criminal act of some kind the vast majority being Hispanics or African Americans. Therefore, the goal of the Act is to enable individuals the opportunity to live in affordable and safe housing. (42U.S.C. §3601 es Esq)  Elayne Weiss with the National Low Housing Coalition said; "People who come out of prison and can't find housing often become homeless and have a higher rate of recidivism, and often end up back in prison...their not having housing doesn't help anyone." The bottom line is "A policy or practice that denies housing or other adverse action to anyone with a prior arrest or any kind o criminal conviction cannot be justified." says Helen Kanacsky, general counsel for HUD. How Does the ACT Effect Property Manager? There is some confusion on how the ACT effects property managers, not just those who handle subsidized housing, thus I have attempted to clarify a few points ( not offer legal advice). What constitutes a violation of the ACT? (1) A property manager violates the ACT if he denies (intentionally or unintentionally) an application solely ......
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HUD Bans Using Arrest Records

HUD Bans Using Arrest Records

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued new guidance on April 4th, 2016 that is going to require all single-family and multifamily rental professionals to revisit their policies.

In a decision that is aimed at protecting the rights of “returning citizens”, HUD is limiting the use of arrest records in tenant screening nationwide for both public and private housing. While they are not discouraging the use of criminal records in the background screening process, they are requiring a conviction be reported for the record to be considered in the decision. Using an arrest record without a conviction is being viewed as discriminating against a consumer who has not been found guilty of having done anything illegal.

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Identifying Threats from Within: Annual Screening of Employees

Identifying Threats from Within: Annual Screening of Employees

Managing a successful business is no easy feat when you factor in risks such as competition, inventory and staffing. What many businesses don’t take into account is the liabilities they may face from current staff who may have been involved in illicit activities outside of work. Employees with inclinations towards activities that violate company policy rely upon the fact that their job will stop looking into their background once they are hired. Annual updates of personnel records that include the same background check you perform upon hiring is something that many companies overlook, but can have a significant positive impact on overall operations.

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Is your tenant turning your rental into a meth lab?

Is your tenant turning your rental into a meth lab?

Being in the vicinity of a meth lab puts a person at risk of personal health problems due to the chemical residues. It also affects personal safety because of the risk of an explosion. For a landlord, the cost of cleaning up a home contaminated by a meth lab could cost $10,000 or more.

 

Here are the signs you should not ignore:

 

  • Neighbors complaining of strange activity at the home, such a people coming through at all hours of the day.
  • A random abundance of common materials used for meth production, such as: cans, bottles, tubing, propane tanks, cooler, portable stoves
  • Packages of suspicious chemical substances like acetone, brake cleaner, drain cleaner, iodine, paint thinner, phosphorous, etc.
  • Strong, unpleasant smells – similar to cat urine.

 

Ask yourself, “Why does my tenant need paint thinner?” or “What IS that smell?”

 

You can purchase DIY meth detection kits online for around $50, or you can pay a professional service to perform a more comprehensive test for just under a thousand dollars. While that might seem costly, it is nothing compared to the price you will have to pay to evict, and then treat your home for contamination.

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Is There Anything More Important Than Hiring?

A company is only as good as the team of personnel who run it. A mediocre team will create a mediocre company, a strong team - a strong company, and an exceptional team will undoubtedly result in an exceptional company. It is for this very reason that we often ask ourselves if there is anything more important than hiring. For clarity’s sake, keep in mind that I am using the idea of hiring to summarize the entire process which extends beyond just hiring itself. We must excel in finding, recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining exceptional personnel. Only when all five of these are executed effectively will we see the results we desire. We take hiring decisions very seriously. Hiring can be one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking processes a business experiences, especially if we're trying to fill a high-level position. There are many things to consider when selecting the right candidate. Will they fit in with their co-workers? What will they add to the culture of the company? Are they the type of person that will jump in and take ownership over their position immediately? Are they worth the cost of their pay? Rapid growth can pressure a company to hire without evaluating every factor, so here are a few tips to ease the nerves. Make Patient Decisions Decisions made out of desperation are often regrettable. I cannot stress enough how necessary it is to take your time during the vetting process. I look at every employee with a long-term approach, and i......
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Why a Background Check Is So Important

As a new landlord, you may not realize the importance of getting a background check on a prospective tenant. A rental property is an investment that can pay your mortgage if you rent it to a desirable and responsible person. Using tenant screening services is a reliable way to find someone who respects your property and pays the rent on time. Even if you think that you are a good judge of character based on first impressions, you can benefit from the expertise of professionals to help you make a good decision. What a Tenant May ConcealYour primary concerns as a landlord are to find a tenant who agrees to preserve your property and to pay you for the use of it. Your obligations as a responsible landlord are to present the property in good repair when you let it out for lease or rent, to make sure to repair anything that breaks down and to allow your tenants the quiet enjoyment of a rented home. In return, you expect a prospective tenant to provide factual information about personal history items such as these: previous physical and email addresses family size As a responsible landlord, you can use such information to narrow your list of potential tenants. However, there are other pieces of information that are more valuable. Negative facts that reflect poorly on a person are not likely to come forward in your tenant interview, and that is the main reason that you need to use tenant screening services to......
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