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New screening guide will assist landlords with background checks

Monday, May 7, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Rental housing providers have access to new resources intended to help them comply with fair housing regulations related to tenants with criminal backgrounds. The Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable has released a new background screening guide that was created to give property owners and managers guidance on legal terminology, how to calculate a look-back period and how to conduct individual reviews in compliance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The screening guide was created by a coalition of local organizations including the Austin Apartment Association, the Austin Tenants’ Council, the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition and the University of Texas Law School’s Community Development Clinic. Approximately one in three Texas residents have a criminal background, and it is hoped that uniform local practices for conducting background checks will make it easier for those with low likelihood of follow-up legal issues to find safe and stable housing. The guide can be accessed at

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