Brickbat: Risk Assessment


N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law the Fair Chance in Housing Act, which bars landlords from asking  about criminal history on housing applications. The only exceptions are if the prospective tenant is a registered sex offender or was convicted for making meth in federally assisted housing. After making an offer, landlords can run a criminal background check on a potential tenant. They would then be able to deny housing to those who were released from prison for first-degree offenses within the past six years, second- and third-degree crimes within the last four years, and fourth-degree crimes within the past year.

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Brickbats Property Rights Criminal Record New Jersey

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29 responses to “Brickbat: Risk Assessment

  1. In a step toward racial equity and ending housing discrimination…

    What if the landlord is black?

    1. Unpossible! All black people are oppressed tenant farmers.

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  2. Darn it they didn’t pass the credit check.

    1. First time I had to pass a credit check to rent I was aghast. I had never heard of such a thing. But then again I was moving from small town to big city, where credit ratings are social currency.

      Nowadays I assume every landlord runs a credit check. And will report bad tenants.

      All those people deferring their rent during the pandemic, sometimes rudely so. Do they realize that they’re screwing up their credit rating? I means, seriously screwing it up? Some places a landlord can’t ask for a credit report, but all experienced landlords know how to get one on you anyway. Good luck living in a flat that you have to rent by the week because no one else will take you.

  3. Will they have to pay rent?

  4. Can’t landlords just set the official rent very high, but offer “scholarships” that reduce the cost to arbitrarily selected tenants?

    If it’s good enough for colleges than it should be good enough for landlords.

    1. That already happens. It’s called Section 8 Housing. Government guarantees the rent, so rents are higher. It’s why when a complex goes Section 8 all the poor people move out while the welfare bums move in.

      It’s almost a direct analogy to college prices. The only reason rent has skyrocketed like tuition is that there’s not an entire political party whining that everyone deserves a chance to be live in Section 8 Housing.

  5. So the landlords aren’t allowed to ask the potential tenants – but they *are* allowed to run a background check after they make an offer and refuse based on that? Why? Are we trying to punish everyone involved by wasting their time?

    And do sex offenders not need housing? In fact, they’re going to have more of a problem finding housing because they can’t live within so many yards of a school/park/whatever. If you’re going to go this route, why exclude them?

    1. Seems like they’d be the most pressed for housing at any cost and would be willing to pay higher rent with minimal complaints. No one ever points to them as the type to shit on the floors and make holes in the walls.

  6. Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll still be able to sue your landlord when he rents the apartment next to you to a criminal who then breaks into your apartment and steals your shit.

  7. The first degree/second degree, etc. classifications don’t make much sense. For example, isn’t murder in the second degree a more serious crime than manslaughter in the first degree? Or is this a different usage of “degree”, with there being some list of what are “first degree crimes”, “second degree crimes”, etc. that is not connected to charges of “crime x in the nth degree”?

    1. “You wouldn’t understand. It’s a Jersey thing.”

  8. Not being a druggie, can someone explain (from a friend) how meth manufactured in federal housing is different form all other meth?

    1. “Not being a druggie”

      Well, at least you are polling the right demo here. Problem is, they smoke so much of their own product, they believe Biden is an improvement.

    2. It’s an insult to the government. You cannot insult the government.

  9. All federal housing has been cleansed of ALL traces of racism, so the meth manufactured there is 100% racism-free, making it of higher quality, and therefor more tempting for new users (more addictive, more dangerous). Other meth is usually racism-contaminated, and more likely to sicken the user, and have bad taste (thus, it is less addictive).

    Glad I could help!

  10. So is the idea of this bill that landlords are just dumb, and have been passing up money on the basis of their inferior judgment compared to the superior judgment-by-table the state has enacted? Or is the idea that landlord’s judgment has been good, and the state just wants to favor criminals?

    Also, isn’t it amazing that with all the publicity the negative effects of sex offender registration have gotten, that they’re still legislating restrictions on sex offenders?

    1. I only have time for one question.

  11. Glad to see the exclusion for sex offenders, since sex crimes against women are the only form of prosecutable act in the Progressive Pantheon. (Actually, no prosecution and trial necessary, just accusation.)

    But they should consider a similar exclusion for renters accused of hate crimes, right?

  12. FUCK

  13. I am amazed that New Jersey is not allowing landlords to check criminal records of prospective renters.
    The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
    Most law abiding citizens don’t wish to associate with or live next to criminals.
    This law will make it impossible to exclude criminals from living in rental housing.
    Driving law abiding people to leave the state.

    In my development, renters get a credit check and a background check.
    We reject anyone who is unlikely to pay or to be a nuisance.
    If that law were passed here in Florida, we would not comply

    1. Landlords are allowed to do a background check, but only _after_ tentatively accepting the renter.Then they can withdraw that acceptance for recent serious crimes. What they are not allowed to do is to handle this more humanely by asking the prospective tenant and/or doing a background check up front, and rejecting him immediately, rather than letting him think his hunt for housing is over for a few days, then rejecting him.

      It’s a typical lefty feel-good, do-bad policy: a stealth plan to keep ex-cons homeless for longer while pretending to help them.

    2. You commit crimes every day that you’re unaware of and some you are aware of. Don’t pretend like you always wash your hands every time you touch your nose. You don’t always obey speed limits. You don’t always come to a complete stop. There are things you don’t tell the IRS. God knows you’ve had impure thoughts.

      Don’t pretend to be innocent.

      Don’t pretend that innocence is required to be a good tenant or neighbor. All that’s required is to pay rent and be polite.

      1. You’ve obviously never lived near a thief or a guy who uses violence to get his way, let alone someone who flunked every high school science class but thinks he can manufacture drugs in the kitchen. And you’ve never rented a home to someone who pays the rent intermittently and punches holes in the walls whenever things don’t go his way – such people don’t always have a criminal record, but ones with a criminal record are much more likely to act like this.

  14. Just think how much easier it will be when decides who is eligible to rent where and for what rate based on their social score.

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