Can An Apartment Reject You For Misdemeanors?

When it comes to renting an apartment, a question that often arises is, “Can an apartment reject you for misdemeanors?” It’s important to understand that apartment applications can be influenced by various factors, including your criminal history. 

In this discussion, we will provide straightforward information about how misdemeanors may impact your apartment application. We’ll also address the broader context to give you a comprehensive understanding of the situation while maintaining a secure and confidential approach.

Can An Apartment Reject You For Misdemeanors

So read this article thoroughly and find out what you can do and what you can not in the case of misdemeanors issues.

Can An Apartment Reject You For Misdemeanors in the US?

In the United States, it’s possible for a landlord to reject your apartment application if you have misdemeanors on your record. But don’t worry, there are some rules in place to protect your rights, like The Fair Housing Act.

The Fair Housing Act is a law that helps ensure fairness in housing. It says that landlords can’t reject you just because of your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or familial status. This means they can’t discriminate against you based on these things.

However, when it comes to misdemeanors, the rules are a bit different. Landlords can consider your criminal history, including misdemeanors when deciding whether to rent to you. They might look at things like theft, vandalism, or other minor offenses.

But here’s the thing: they have to be consistent in their decisions. This means they can’t reject one person for a similar misdemeanor and accept another. It should be fair for everyone.

So, while a landlord can reject you for misdemeanors, they need to follow the law and be fair about it. If you have a misdemeanor on your record, it’s a good idea, to be honest about it on your application and be prepared to discuss it with the landlord if they have questions. Sometimes, they might be willing to work with you, especially if it’s an old or minor offense.

Remember, honesty and following the rules can go a long way in finding the right apartment for you.

How to Get an Apartment in the US With Misdemeanors? Tips

Here are five tips on how to get an apartment in the US with misdemeanors:

Be Honest on Your Application:

When applying for an apartment, always be truthful about your criminal history, including any misdemeanors. Lying on your application can lead to immediate rejection if the landlord finds out. Honesty shows responsibility and can build trust with the landlord.

Provide Character References:

Having character references who can vouch for your good behavior and responsibility can be a powerful asset. These references could be employers, teachers, or people who have known you for a long time. Their positive words can help offset concerns about your misdemeanors.

Explain Your Situation:

If you have a misdemeanor on your record, it’s essential to provide context. Write a brief explanation of the circumstances surrounding the misdemeanor and how you’ve learned from the experience. Express your commitment to being a responsible tenant.

Offer to Pay a Higher Security Deposit:

Some landlords may be willing to work with you if you offer to pay a higher security deposit. This extra money can give them peace of mind in case any issues arise during your tenancy. It demonstrates your commitment to making things right.

Seek Legal Advice if Necessary:

If you believe you are being unfairly discriminated against due to your misdemeanors, consider seeking legal advice. The Fair Housing Act protects individuals from discrimination based on certain factors, including criminal history. Consulting with an attorney can help you understand your rights and options.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of securing an apartment in the US, even if you have misdemeanors on your record. Remember, being upfront and demonstrating your responsibility can go a long way in convincing landlords to give you a chance.

Can I Expunge My Misdemeanor?

Misdemeanors on your record can have lasting consequences, affecting your employment, housing, and overall quality of life. However, there’s hope – you can take steps to expunge or clear your misdemeanor record.

Step 1: Understand Your Eligibility

Before proceeding, it’s essential to determine if you qualify for expungement. Eligibility criteria vary by state and the specific misdemeanor offense. Generally, you may be eligible if you’ve completed your sentence and probation and paid all fines. However, violent or repeat offenses may not be eligible.

Step 2: Gather Necessary Documents

Obtain all relevant documents related to your misdemeanor conviction, including court records, sentencing information, and proof of completed probation or community service. Having these documents ready will streamline the expungement process.

Step 3: Consult an Attorney

Consider consulting an attorney who specializes in criminal record expungement. They can provide legal advice, assess your eligibility, and guide you through the process. While not mandatory, legal expertise can be invaluable.

Step 4: File a Petition

Prepare and submit a formal expungement petition to the appropriate court. The petition typically includes your personal information, details of the misdemeanor conviction, and reasons for seeking expungement. It’s crucial to follow your state’s specific filing procedures and pay any associated fees.

Step 5: Attend a Hearing

In some cases, a court hearing may be necessary. Be prepared to present your case persuasively, emphasizing your efforts at rehabilitation and the positive changes you’ve made in your life since the conviction. Also, address why expunging a misdemeanor is in the public interest.

Step 6: Await the Decision

After your petition and any required hearings, you’ll need to await the court’s decision. The waiting period may vary, but patience is key.

Step 7: Comply with Post-Expungement Requirements

If your petition is approved, there may be post-expungement requirements to fulfill, such as notifying law enforcement agencies, updating your records, or attending additional court proceedings. Ensure you follow these requirements to complete the expungement process.

Step 8: Enjoy the Benefits

Upon successful expungement, your misdemeanor conviction will no longer appear on most background checks, allowing you to pursue better job opportunities, housing, and a fresh start.

What are the States Where I Can Get an Apartment with a Misdemeanors Record?

Below is the list of states where you can get an apartment even if you have a misdemeanor record.

  • Illinois
  • Pennsylvania
  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Ohio
  • California
  • Georgia


In conclusion, navigating the process of renting an apartment in the US with a misdemeanor on your record can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. It’s crucial to understand that while landlords can consider your criminal history, including misdemeanors, they must do so within the bounds of the law, ensuring fairness and consistency.

Honesty, transparency, and responsibility are your allies when applying for an apartment with a misdemeanor. Be forthright about your past, provide character references to vouch for your reliability, and explain the context of your misdemeanor to potential landlords. Offering to pay a higher security deposit can also demonstrate your commitment to being a responsible tenant.

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