State of New Jersey to Limit Criminal Record Use for Landlords
Special Announcement to all New Jersey landlords:
Effective 01/18/2022, the State of New Jersey will impose a law (S250) that restricts landlords in the state from asking about criminal record information in the rental process.
Under the law, the following restrictions, will apply:
A housing provider shall not, either before or after the issuance of a conditional offer, evaluate an applicant based on any of the following types of criminal records:
(1) arrests or charges that have not resulted in a criminal conviction;
(2) expunged convictions;
(3) convictions on appeal;
(4) vacated and otherwise legally nullified convictions;
(5) juvenile adjudications of delinquency;
(6) records that have been sealed; and
(7) criminal convictions arising for conduct committed outside of the State that, if committed within the State, would not constitute an indictable offense.
After the issuance of a conditional offer to an applicant, a housing provider may only consider a criminal record in the applicant’s history that:
(1) resulted in a conviction that was issued within, or if the conviction resulted in a prison sentence that sentence concluded within, the three years immediately preceding the issuance of the conditional offer ; and
(2) consists of a criminal conviction that, pursuant to subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:52-2, is not eligible for expungement.
A housing provider may withdraw a conditional offer based on an applicant’s criminal record only if the housing provider determines, by clear and convincing evidence, that the withdrawal is necessary, because the applicant’s criminal conduct renders the applicant unfit for the housing arrangement applied for. The housing provider’s determination of unfitness for housing shall be reasonable in light of enumerated factors.
This law will require a review of the rental process in place and may require changes to that process. Justifacts recommends that you consult with your legal department to determine what changes, if any, need to be made to your rental process in order to comply with this law.