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Tips On How To Find Housing While On The Sex Offender Registry By The Outspoken Offender

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

The Issue:

Locating rental housing while on the sex offender registry can be a difficult task. Many property managers and landlords include stipulations for registrants within their tenant criteria. In addition, some landlords turn to the information from state implementations of “Megan’s Law” to determine whether applicants are listed on the registry. It is not uncommon for landlords to solely deny a rental application because of a sexually-based crime:

"Conviction of any crime that requires lifetime registration as a sex offender or for which applicant is currently registered as a sex offender will result in denial.” — Capscott Apartments, Portland, Oregon"

“Any registered sex offenders and anyone convicted of the manufacture and distribution of drugs will be denied.” — Toonen Rental Properties, Green Bay, Wisconsin."

The lack of rental housing available for persons required to register can lead to homelessness. Miami has seen its share of problems including homeless encampments under causeways and more recently just east of the Miami International Airport. The homeless situation is often seen as a forced nomadic existence, which also causes more issues for local police.

Landlords Attitudes

While landlord attitudes towards people with misdemeanor convictions are generally favorable versus felony records, most landlords will consider rehabilitation efforts as part of their decision making. In the study, “Landlord Attitudes Toward Renting to Released Offenders,” only 35 percent of the landlords were willing to accept a felon without rehabilitation, while 62 percent, which includes landlords who are currently accepting applicants with a criminal history, would accept them with rehabilitation. Results for misdemeanors show similar trends. When participants were asked if they would rent to someone on the sex offender registry, 85.6% of them said they would deny the application.

How to Find Housing With a Felony or Sex Offense

1. Private Landlords

Try to avoid property management companies such as Real Property Management and local apartment rental services. Most, if not all, will deny you solely on your sex offense charge. Even though people with felony records are not a protected class under the Fair Housing Act, there may be a legal challenge opportunity for prospective tenants that are denied solely on their conviction. On April 4, 2016, Urban Housing and Development (HUD) released guidance for landlords regarding criminal records and rental housing. It states that,

“Policies that exclude persons based on criminal history must be tailored to serve the housing provider’s substantial, legitimate, nondiscriminatory interest and take into consideration such factors as the type of the crime and the length of the time since conviction.”

In addition, landlords bear the burden of

“proving that any discriminatory effect caused by such policy or practice is justified.”

Also, such a determination must be made on a case-by-case basis.

People living with felony records or sexually-based offenses have the best chance of locating available rentals through private, or small family-owned management companies. Also, a private individual renting his/her condo, rental home, or duplex will most likely have less stringent restrictions in place for possible tenants.

2. Zillow and Craigslist

Locating private landlords or homeowners is fairly easy on websites such as Zillow and Craigslist. If you find a potential rental and the ad includes a lot of verbiage on restrictions and policies, most likely the rental is from a property management company or real estate service.

**Avoid listings with a lot of rental restrictions**

Try to locate simple rental ads that have basic rental terms. Some ads may even say, “available through home-owner,” or “listed by private owner.” If you see rental ads that include watermarked photos, most likely the rental is being made available through a Third party.

Finally, Once Fallen is an non profit organization: Who's mission is to provide an honest education on the truth about “sex offender” laws and issues, dispelling the myths used to justify sex offense legislation, and offering some support services and guidance to those seeking to reform America’s sex offense laws.

They have an housing assistance registry that you may want to look at. You can do this by clicking the links below.

Feel free to leave a comment, we would love to hear your thoughts, questions and comments.

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3 kommentarer

Edwin Vernon
Edwin Vernon
24. jul. 2023

I want to find a place where I can live with my wife and son I have a 500ft csz I'm in Houston Texas

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Vonda Panzera
Vonda Panzera
13. jun. 2023

I’m looking for a efficiency for my brother in Lexington Kentucky who is a accused sex offender he is in a wheelchair

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C.L. White
C.L. White
22. maj 2023

I am seriously considering moving to wichita, you have any resources available there for housing or anywhere else in Kansas? Your help is truly appreciated.

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