The county is currently considering adding language to allow discrimination against such people, according to a May 19 report from the Wisconsin State Journal. Specifically, the ordinance would say that landlords can turn away prospective tenants based on criminal history if the crime was related to housing and “a reasonable person would have a justifiable fear for the safety” of the property or other tenants.
Is this language fair, or should landlords be free to adopt their own criminal history policies without fear of housing discrimination claims? Madison, which is the seat of Dane County, bars landlords from discriminating against people with a criminal record if their record is more than two years old. Is this sensible?
What do you think?
Interesting to note:
"Criminal arrest/conviction" is not a protected class under the Fair Housing Act or under any state's fair housing law.