Washington, DC

Photo by PoPville flickr user Beau Finley

“Dear PoPville,

I’m a (small-time) landlord and have been using an application template that asks potential renters about past convictions. Always thought that was a silly question since I judge potential applicants based on their rental history, assets, income, and credit score. If those are good, why should I care if they have been convicted of something? I’ve been meaning to white-out that question from my forms and now this article reminds me to do so.

“But blanket policies of refusing to rent to anybody with a criminal record are de facto discrimination, the department says — because of the systemic disparities of the American criminal justice system.”

So I am deleting the question today, which is something I knew I should have done a while ago. Time to do the right thing.”


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