Fair Chance in Housing Act Information
Initial Application or Advertisement:
New Jersey’s FCHA limits a housing provider’s (see below) ability to consider a person’s criminal history in deciding whether to extend an offer or whether to rent a home after extending an offer. With some exceptions, the FCHA makes it unlawful for a housing provider to ask an applicant if they have a criminal history on their initial application materials, in an interview, or in any other way before making an offer. It is also unlawful for a housing provider to publish any advertisement prohibiting applicants with criminal histories from applying for a unit.
There are two exceptions that housing providers may ask about on initial application materials:
- Whether an applicant has ever been convicted of drug-related criminal activity for the manufacture or production of methamphetamine on the premises of federally assisted housing; or,
- Whether the applicant is subject to a lifetime registration requirement on a state sex offender registry.
Criminal History Information that can Never be Considered:
A housing provider can never, either before or after the issuance of an offer, ask about the following types of criminal records or rely upon the following types of criminal records in rejecting an applicant (whether the information is obtained from an applicant or from a third party vendor or other outside person/entity):
- arrests or charges that have not resulted in a criminal conviction;
- expunged convictions;
- convictions erased through executive pardon;
- vacated and otherwise legally nullified convictions;
- juvenile adjudications of delinquency; and
- records that have been sealed.
The law also prohibits housing providers from requiring drug or alcohol testing; from disseminating or distributing an applicant’s record in any way not authorized under the FCHA; and from retaliating against anyone for exercising their rights to file a complaint under the law. For more information click here
Disclosure Statement with sample language
Notice of Withdraw with sample language
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