Most felons have a hard time fitting into society after their incarceration. The stigma that comes along with their conviction history can be overwhelming, especially when they are looking for a job or a place to live. Felon-friendly housing should be normalized by state agencies and landlords. The fact that one is an ex-convict should not hinder them from getting decent housing like the rest of society.
Other than getting felon-friendly apartments, getting a decent and well-paying job is a challenge for ex-convicts, especially in Salt Lake City. It’s high time the government and other concerned parties look into this to help felons get a smooth transition into society because everyone deserves a second chance. Moreover, having served time in prison means that felons have paid for their crimes and have probably turned over a new leaf.
That said, let’s take a look at how felons should go about when house hunting in Salt Lake City and other parts of the United States.
How to house-hunt if you are a felon
Most landlords run a background check before renting out their houses to potential tenants. They do this to protect their property and other tenants who want to live in an area where there is no crime to ensure that peace and safety continue to flourish. Although they do this with good intentions in mind, this practice often turns out to be somewhat unfair to felons who have genuinely changed for the better and want to be useful members of society and law-abiding citizens.
So, what’s next to felons? Can they find apartments to rent in Salt Lake City and other parts of the United States?
Is it possible to rent an apartment with a felony record?
The simple answer is yes. Felons can rent apartments after their incarceration in Salt Lake City and other parts of the country. Although most landlords have a culture of checking one’s credit score and running background checks before renting out their apartments, not all of them do that. Some housing units in Salt Lake City such as Park Capitol Apartments, Brigham Apartments, Country Lake Apartments, and Monaco Apartments accept convicted felons.
One of the easiest ways for an ex-convict to find an apartment is by joining support groups comprised of former prisoners who are already renting homes or apartments. Such people come in handy since they know their way around strict rental policy agreements.
They can easily guide felons who are fresh from prison and refer them to landlords who look past one’s criminal records. Other than linking up with fellow ex-cons, below are useful tips for finding felon-friendly apartments in Salt Lake City.
- Approach an individual landlord
Approaching private renters or individual landlords is among the best ways of finding a felon-friendly apartment. When you approach an individual landlord, you have the best shot at discussing your situation and convincing the landlord that you will have no problem paying your rent and that you won’t cause any trouble as a tenant.
It is crucial to be sincere about your criminal record when you approach an individual landlord. When you are frank about your past, you stand a chance of getting an apartment to rent as the landlord may look past your criminal record. Having someone to vouch for you when negotiating with an individual landlord is an added advantage.
- Look for apartments that don’t run background checks
Searching for apartments that don’t run background checks is a great way of house-hunting in Salt Lake City. Although most apartments make it a norm to run background checks, not all do. You can do this by typing “second chance apartments in Salt Lake City” in search engines.
By doing this, you will find a list of apartments such as City Park and Settlers Point Apartments that don’t bother to run background checks. Such apartments are felon-friendly and they will give you a chance to have a place you call home.
- Use national and local resources
There are numerous national and local resources dedicated to helping people with criminal records get affordable housing. A great way to find such resources is by consulting with non-profit organizations dedicated to helping felons get back on their feet.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development also helps felons get affordable housing. They will readily avail a list of felon-friendly apartments upon your request. The Lion Heart Foundation is also a key organization dedicated to helping felons find decent housing in Salt Lake City and other parts of the country.
Their focus is to give people a second chance and provide the necessary tools for ex-convicts to restart their lives. Their website avails a list of felon-friendly apartments in every state.
- Wade through challenging application processes
House-hunting by felons can be an uphill task. However, being prepared to wade through the challenging application process is the best way to find a suitable home. Below are some useful tips to help you overcome the challenging process.
- Offer to pay more
Offering to pay more rent or a security deposit is one of the ways to sweeten a deal with your potential landlord. By going out of your way and doing this, you are indicating that you are serious about renting and that you can pay your rent on time.
- Have a credible character witness
If you want to make a good impression about paying your rent on time or to assure a house owner that you will not cause trouble, it is important to have a credible character witness. Felons should look for someone who will vouch for them when house-hunting.
- Write a letter
Writing a letter by hand is a personal way to convey a sense of caring. When you are looking for a felon-friendly apartment, write to potential landlords telling them about your story and how you have turned over a new leaf. By doing so, you build a personal connection that will help you gain their trust.