Governor Murphy Signs the “Fair Chance in Housing Act”

Legislation will make it illegal for landlords to ask about criminal history on rental applications 
During New Jersey’s first commemoration of Juneteenth as an official state and federal holiday, Governor Murphy today signed legislation (S250/A1919) barring landlords from asking about criminal history on housing applications in most instances. The legislation aims to eliminate this barrier for those with criminal records and break an ongoing cycle exacerbated by previously existing policy.
The legislation prohibits owners from asking about a prospective tenant’s criminal history unless they’ve met certain parameters, like having been flagged as a sex offender or convicted for making meth in federally-assisted housing. Only after a landlord makes a conditional offer to a tenant can they run a criminal background check.  A landlord would also be required to disclose, prior to accepting any application fee, whether the application will include a review into criminal history, and the tenant’s right to dispute inaccuracies or to provide evidence of rehabilitation. 
The Fair Chance at Housing Act will not apply in instances where federal law allows landlords to ask about certain criminal convictions. The legislation was sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton, Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson, and Assemblywoman Angela McKnight.
For the complete press release click here
Stay tuned for further updates…

 

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