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Can HOA require Criminal Background Check?

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by Soothsayer, May 20, 2009.

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  1. Soothsayer

    Soothsayer Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Im having a tough time swallowing a new rule that was implemented by the HOA of one of the buildings I own a rental income property in. Recent change states that I (the owner) must provide them (the HOA) with a copy of my tenants criminal background check that I must purchase and submit to them.

    I currently run my own personal background checks on my tenants through a police officer friend of mine so I dont have to pay for the charges. That isn't the main concern I have though. I feel it is an invasion of my tenants privacy to give up thier background checks to the HOA because the head of the HOA board resides in the building and he is very "gossipy" from personal interaction with him. The HOA has no rules against renting to criminals (felons, sex offenders, etc.) and I feel this is a way for the Board members to be super nosy. Is there a law that protects tenants privacy.

    I take time in screening my tenants as best I can, and I want to protect thier privacy from their neighbors.

    Thank you.
     
  2. emorgan0831

    emorgan0831 New Member

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    I agree with you that this doesn't sound right. Even if the HOA President isn't gossip sally, I wouldn't want my teants info out their, unless you are making them aware that it does go tot he HOA. Do your tenants know that you run a background check? Can you ask your police friend if it is legal for the HOA to want that?
     
  3. charliechaplin1

    charliechaplin1 New Member

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    it really doesn't sound right, but in most states the HOA has the right to screen residents or potential tenants if it is part of their governing documents/rules.

    You are not neccessarily obligated to provide them with the background check information you acquired yourself.. An important thing to note is that they would still need the consent of the potential tenant to run any background checking legally, and they cannot evict a tenant you approved based on what they discover when they run their own background checks.

    for more info on this you could visit this site:

    triple "w" dot dontbeavicitm dot org



    sorry i had to write it this way, cant post links...
     
  4. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Your police officer friend is almost certainly violating a number of state and probably federal laws by running these checks. If he is accessing this information through any local, state or federal telecommunications or computer system solely to provide this information to you, he is likely breaking the law in your state, and if he runs anything through NCIC he is violating federal law. Your friend is a fool to be doing this and, in my opinion, either needs to be educated on the law or fired.

    If the background is from public records - which is what you get when you go to these background websites and pay $25 or whatever they charge - then these public records are available for anyone. If the information is obtained through confidential forces (or illegally through connections in law enforcement) then, yes, it is an unlawful invasion of privacy.

    However, many landlords and property management companies conduct background checks through these public records firms. Confidential identifying information might be questionable to pass on, but the results of the public records search is almost certainly lawful.

    Laws on privacy rights can vary by state. Some states are stricter than others. Since you did not mention your state, it is impossible to check a little deeper for you.

    - Carl
     
  5. sfitz

    sfitz New Member

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    If a public housing agency can, then most certainly a private agency can. I know that people have been denied public housing based on felony convictions.
     
  6. nonlandlord

    nonlandlord New Member

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    I am almost amazed how stupid and reckless this landord is throwing her so called "police officer" friend under the bus like that. My gut is this person does not have any friend in law enforcement-- because very few officers, if any would be willing to do illegal checks such as this just because!! Secondly I live in beautiful little hoa that never had rental units. Now, investors have tried to suck up our homes and we have been exposed to felons and nothing but trouble. As a homeowner with children, I dont want that around me. Our values have gone down not just because of the market-- but because greedy investors will put the first pile of crap in that house they can...as long as they get their check. I applaud any hoa that screens for criminal activity. It will save your home values especially in this tough market. It was also prevent a slumlord atmosphere. I bought in an HOA to save the value of my home.. now investors who dont care who rents their property are taking what we have away, and putting us next to a revolving door of shady tenants!
     
  7. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    No, no, no, you spamming roach!
     

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