Navigating the rental market with a criminal record in Indiana can be challenging. If you’re worried about how your past might impact your future, know that you’re not alone. This guide, designed for individuals considering expungement, will explore the various ways a criminal record might affect your ability to rent a home in Indiana.
Does Having a Criminal Record Create Barriers to Renting a Home in Indiana?
This guide explains the following:
- Barriers to renting with a criminal record
- Understanding landlords’ concerns
- Legal rights and protections for renters
- Benefits of expungement in Indiana
- Steps to seek expungement
Here’s a closer look at each.
Barriers to Renting with a Criminal Record
Renting a home with a criminal record in Indiana can be tough. When landlords see a criminal record, they often worry about the safety and reliability of their tenants. This concern can lead them to choose someone else, even if your past offenses were minor or happened a long time ago. It’s not just about serious crimes; even small offenses or charges that didn’t lead to a conviction can make landlords hesitant. This situation can feel unfair, especially if you’ve worked hard to move past your criminal history.
Understanding Landlords’ Concerns
Landlords have a responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of their property and the people living in it. When they see a criminal record, they might worry about potential risks. This isn’t just about judging your character; it’s about their duty to protect their investment and other tenants. Some landlords might be more understanding and consider the nature of your offense and how much time has passed. Others might have strict policies against renting to anyone with a criminal record. It’s a varied landscape, and understanding where landlords are coming from can help you navigate it better.
Legal Rights and Protections for Renters
Even with a criminal record, you have rights as a renter. Landlords must follow fair housing laws, which means they can’t discriminate against you based on certain protected characteristics. However, these laws don’t provide complete protection for individuals with criminal records. Landlords can consider your criminal history, but they should also look at factors like the type of offense, how long ago it occurred, and your behavior since then. If you feel you’ve been unfairly denied housing because of your criminal record, you might have legal options to challenge that decision.
Benefits of Expungement in Indiana
Expungement in Indiana can be a powerful tool for overcoming the barriers to renting a home. When your record is expunged, it’s sealed, making it invisible to most landlords during background checks. This process can level the playing field, giving you the same chance to secure housing as someone without a criminal record. It’s important to remember that expungement doesn’t erase your record completely; certain agencies can still access it under specific circumstances. But for renting purposes, it’s like getting a clean slate.
Steps to Seek Expungement
Seeking expungement in Indiana involves a few key steps. First, you need to check if you’re eligible. This depends on factors like the nature of your offense and how much time has passed since then. Once you determine your eligibility, you’ll need to gather the necessary documents and file a petition for expungement with the court. This process can be complex, so it’s often a good idea to work with a lawyer who specializes in expungement. They can guide you through each step, ensuring that your petition is as strong as possible. Remember, getting an expungement can make a big difference in your life, especially when it comes to finding a place to live.
Do You Need to Talk to an Indiana Expungement and Sealing Attorney?
If you’re ready for a fresh start, we may be able to help. Call us at 317-647-5476 or fill out the form below for a free consultation on expungement. We’re here to answer your questions and get you the fresh start you deserve.