After discussing how misdemeanors can affect your rental opportunities, and how apartment complexes perform background checks on all prospective tenants these days, we wanted to talk specifically about felony convictions.
This article explains how to rent an apartment in Oklahoma with a felony conviction on your arrest record.
Can you rent an apartment with a criminal record in Oklahoma?
This is a very common question, and an important one. Everyone needs a place to live. But when you have a criminal record, it is not as easy to find a place to live. That is because apartment complexes and most residential landlords perform extensive background checks on prospective tenants.
So can you still rent an apartment with a criminal record? Well, the answer is not so cut and dry.
There is no law one way or the other. There is no law that says a person with a criminal record cannot rent an apartment. But there also is no law that says an apartment complex must accept you as a tenant even if you have a criminal record.
Some landlords will rent to tenants with criminal records, and some will not. Sometimes, it just depends. Some landlords will rent to tenants that have only misdemeanors, but not to tenants that have felonies. Other landlords may distinguish between whether the person was charged with a felony versus a person who was actually convicted.
Persons with Felony Convictions have a more difficult time renting apartments in Oklahoma
The truth is that people that have felony convictions in their past have the hardest time finding housing. A large part of that is the social stigma associated with having a felony conviction. It is the scarlet letter of our time.
A felony conviction implies that a person was a former criminal or committed a serious crime. In some minds, the thought of a convicted felon conjures up an image of a dangerous person. To others, it may simply a criminal past, full of individuals you just don’t want hanging around your rental property. Perhaps they might steal or cause a fight.
Most property managers just don’t want even the thought of dealing with tenant drama or potential property damage. So they screen out applicants with felonies.
The problem is that there are many, many more people today that have felony convictions than ever before in the history of our country. The reason is that the definition of a felony has expanded over time, from serious, dangerous crimes, to encompass a very broad landscape of legal violations.
Today, a person with a felony could be a former political campaign manager who failed to file certain paperwork associated with fund raising. It could be a person who bounced a check twenty years ago. And most common, it could be a person who possessed certain drugs at a time when the penalties were much worse than they are now.
Even socially accepted drugs, like marijuana, had felony implications in Oklahoma for subsequent convictions. And for any crime involving the sale, profits, or proceeds of drug, carried felony status.
Shortage of Housing makes it even harder for felons to rent
So, many, many people have felonies on their record. More so than ever before. And at the same time, there is a greater shortage of housing than ever before. This makes it even harder for persons with felony records to rent a place to live.
Because there is a shortage of housing (and will be for many years to come), there is a higher proportion of tenants to landlords. So landlords and property managers have more tenants to choose from than ever before.
With so many people applying to rent, the landlord or property manager must narrow down the field of candidates. And the simplest way to do that is to automatically rule out any person with a felony on their record.
Solution to your problem: Expunge your Felony Conviction
The good news is that there is a solution for you. You can expunge your felony conviction in Oklahoma, as long as it was a non-violent felony.
By expunging your felony conviction, you basically erase it out of existence. The court records will be sealed from public access. The arrest records, police reports, finger prints and booking photos will all be expunged. And your criminal history report with OSBI will also be removed.
When you do a background check, it will no longer have any information relating to the felony arrest or conviction on it. And the best part is that you earn the right to legally deny it ever happened. You will not be committing perjury when you state, whether on a government application or a rental application, that you’ve never been charged or convicted.
If you get an Expungement, you will no longer have a publicly visible felony record. This means that even though you were convicted of a felony, no one else will know, including landlords. Even though you were previously convicted, you will be able to deny it ever happened. You will be able to apply for housing and your felony record will not be an issue in the application process.
How to Expunge your Felony Conviction so that you can rent an apartment in Oklahoma
Getting an expungement is actually quite simple. First, you simply fill out this form. We will review your case and contact you immediately. You can also call us and text us at 405-701-6016 and we can answer your questions.
After getting your personal information, we will screen your case to determine if your case qualifies for expungement. In determining whether your case qualifies, we will review your entire criminal record.
If you qualify (based on whether your felony was non-violent, and how long ago the sentence ended, and whether you have any pending charges), we can get started immediately.
Hire an Expungement Lawyer today by calling 405-701-6016
You can call our office, or you can text 405-701-6016. We will quote you a price over the phone. Our prices are based on what your case is in. You can read our pricing structure at the bottom of this page.
We have expunged hundreds of records in Oklahoma for persons with felonies. We would love to provide you the information you are looking for. Just call or text 405-701-6016 or complete this form and we will call you.