It can be difficult to move on with your life after a criminal conviction. If you are concerned that your history will appear on a background check for an apartment, it may be time to start the expungement process in New Jersey.
If you have a criminal record, it’ll show up on a background check for an apartment. As will other things that can impact your application, like your credit score and employment status. Although New Jersey has recently made changes to make housing more accessible to those with previous convictions, finding an apartment can still be difficult. That is why filing for expungement is a great option for those with a history they’d like to forget. Once your record is expunged, never again will a landlord be able to see your past or judge you for it.
We’re dedicated to helping New Jersey find success after a criminal conviction. For a free case evaluation with the Atlantic City expungement lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, call today at (609) 616-4956.
Will My Criminal Record Show Up on a Background Check for an Apartment in New Jersey?
Getting approved for an apartment can be difficult for those with a criminal record. The prejudices landlords hold against those who have served their time can make it hard for those individuals to find safe, affordable housing. If you have a criminal history and are concerned about what will happen if your prospective landlord will find out, you need to learn if those records will show up on a background check.
When New Jersey landlords consider a potential tenant, they will likely run various background checks. One of those will be a check for an applicant’s criminal history. If you were arrested for an indictable offense in New Jersey, a landlord can see that.
In New Jersey, indictable offenses can range from shoplifting to manslaughter. Lesser offenses, like disorderly person offenses, are unlikely to show up on a criminal background check that is only looking for “crimes” or felony convictions. However, if a landlord runs a court records check, they may be able to see more than past criminal convictions. So, depending on the type of background check a landlord runs, they may be able to see previous convictions as well as arrests or charges for lesser offenses.
Unfortunately, having a criminal record can impact the results of other background checks a landlord may run. For example, a landlord may run a credit check. You may have gaps in your credit history if you have a criminal record and spent time in jail or prison. Having a history of arrests or convictions can also make it more difficult to find a reliable job, meaning a landlord may be less than pleased when verifying your income. If you’re concerned that your criminal record will show up on a background check and that your history will impact your apartment application, talk to an attorney. An Avalon criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you turn your life around so you never have to worry about others finding out about your past again.
Can I Be Denied an Apartment if My Criminal Record Shows Up on a Background Check?
After you’ve served your time, a criminal record can still haunt you, especially when trying to find housing. To counteract that, New Jersey recently passed the Fair Chance in Housing Act (FCHA) to prohibit discrimination against individuals with certain convictions or arrests.
Since the passage of the Fair Chance in Housing Act, New Jersey landlords are now prohibited from running a criminal background check on an applicant until they have approved the rest of an application. Of course, this rule has some exceptions, so ask your New Jersey lawyer for clarification.
Most notably, however, the FCHA specified which crimes New Jersey landlords can deny housing for. For example, if an applicant was convicted of certain serious crimes, like murder or specific sex crimes, a New Jersey landlord can deny them an apartment. For other offenses, landlords cannot discriminate against an applicant if a certain amount of time has passed.
That said, not everyone is protected from discrimination if they have a criminal history. Although the FCHA attempts to make housing more accessible, certain landlords may disregard this recent development and find another excuse not to rent to you. If a landlord denies you housing based on your criminal record, but the offenses in question are not among those permitted for discrimination by the FCHA, contact your attorney right away. Unfortunately, having a criminal record show up on a background check can impact your ability to find housing, even if the denial of housing itself is against the law.
Can a New Jersey Landlord See My Criminal Record After Expungement?
The only sure way to prevent your criminal record from hurting your chances of getting an apartment is to get it expunged. Hiring an experienced New Jersey expungement lawyer can help you ensure that no landlord will ever be able to use your criminal record as an excuse not to rent an apartment to you.
Depending on the severity of a conviction or arrest, filing for expungement is relatively simple in New Jersey. With help from the right attorney, you can begin the process of getting your record erased so that it will never appear on a background check. Not all convictions are eligible for expungement, so it’s important to speak with an experienced lawyer to learn more.
Getting your criminal record erased can help you find safe housing in more ways than one. After a Brigantine criminal defense lawyer helps you get your life back, no employer can deny your application based on your criminal history. That means you can have an easier time finding a job, earning a stable income, and qualifying for a safe apartment.
Once your criminal record is expunged, no one should be able to access it. However, if a landlord uses unsavory tactics to dig into your past, especially without your consent, inform your attorney right away.
Call Our New Jersey Expungement Lawyers Today
If you want your New Jersey criminal record erased, reach out to our attorneys for help. For a free case evaluation with the Haddonfield criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, call today at (609) 616-4956.