This article is about whether a landlord or apartment complex in Oklahoma can legally refuse to rent to a person based on the person’s past criminal history.
Apartments and Landlords can legally refuse to rent to persons with felony records
The truth is that nothing is stopping a landlord from refusing to rent to a person because of their criminal record. This even includes misdemeanors, as well as felonies. But persons with felony records face particularly scrutiny.
Even if a person was not convicted; say they were just arrested but the charges were dropped. That is enough for most landlords to simply deny the application and move on to the next prospect. There is nothing illegal about a property managing doing just that.
Refusing to Rent based on Felony status is not considered discrimination
Unlike refusing to rent based on a person’s race, religion, or family status, for example, refusing to rent based on a person’s criminal record is not a form of illegal discrimination. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Refusing to rent to a person based on their felony record is a common form of legal discrimination.
Landlords and property managers can legally discriminate against convicted felons, and really anyone with any type of criminal record. Not only is it legal, but it is extremely common in Oklahoma.
One reason it is so common is because the shortage of housing has created an imbalance between landlords and tenants. There are many, many more tenants there there are available apartments and housing. With so many tenants to choose from, Landlords are automatically denying persons with criminal records, especially felons. After all, it is legal, and is the simplest way to screen tenants.
How to prevent Landlords from knowing about your felony
There is a way for you to prevent landlords and property managers from finding out about your felony conviction. And it is perfectly legal.
By hiring an attorney to expunge your record, you can keep the public from being able to look up your past convictions or arrest record.
An expungement is a legal process where an attorney asks the court to seal your record. Once sealed, it is no longer available to the public. It will not come up on a background check, and it will not be available at the courthouse or the court website OSCN.net.
Best of all: you can legally deny it ever happened. Including on rental applications.
Expunge your Record and gain access to better Housing Opportunities
When you expunge your record, you earn the right to deny it ever existed. This means you can fill out applications to rent an apartment, and not disclose that you’ve been arrested or convicted. When the property management does their routine background check, as they do on all tenants, your report will come back blank. The charges and case numbers will be removed.
By expunging your case, you will gain greater housing opportunities. Most landlords and property managers automatically deny persons with felonies, unless they were really old charges. But with Oklahoma’s new expungement laws, you only need to wait five years to expunge a felony.
Contact our office to Expunge your Record.
To get started, simply contact our office at 405-701-6016, or complete this form. We can provide you with any information you would like. We can screen your case over the phone. We can quote you a price over the phone. And we can accept payments over the phone.
We can also work with you through email online. You can complete this form online, we will contact you to get started, and we also accept debit and credit cards online.
You do not need to come to our office. You can text us at 405-701-6016 for updates. We can handle everything on your behalf, including going to any court hearings.
The entire process takes about 90 days and we are happy to provide more information to you after you contact us.