TENANT SCREENING POLICY
We work with neighbors and other landlords in the area to maintain the quality of the neighborhood. We make sure that people do not use rental units for illegal activity. To that end, we have a thorough screening process. If you meet the criteria and are accepted, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that other renters in this area are being screened with equal care and, as a result, there may be a reduced risk of illegal activity occurring in the area. Please review our list of criteria and if you meet the criteria, please apply. Please note that we provide equal housing opportunity; we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, national origin, or familial status.
A complete application is required for each adult 18 years of age or older. If a line is not filled in, and the omission is not explained satisfactorily, we will not accept the application.
Each applicant must provide a photo ID (driver’s license or other government issued photo identification) prior to move-in. Failure to do so is grounds for rejection.
Your rental history must be verified by unbiased sources. If you are related by blood or marriage to one of the previous landlords listed above, or your rental history does not include at least two previous landlords, we will require a qualified cosigner on your rental agreement (qualified cosigners must meet all applicant screening criteria) and/or a security deposit equal to one month’s rent. It is your responsibility to provide us with the information necessary to contact your past landlords. We reserve the right to deny your application if, after making a good faith error, we are unable to verify your rental history. If you owned—rather than rented—your previous home, you must furnish mortgage company references and proof of title ownership or transfer.
You must have sufficient income/resources. If the combination of your monthly personal debt, utility costs, and rent payments will exceed 33% of your monthly income before taxes, we will require a qualified cosigner on your rental agreement. If the combination exceeds 40% of your monthly income, your application will be denied.
We must be able to verify independently the amount and stability of your income through sources such as pay stubs, employer/source contacts, or tax records. If you are self-employed, you will be required to submit a business license, tax records, bank records, or a list of client references.
Section 8 applicants must allow information access and sign a consent form allowing the local public housing agency to verify information regarding their rental history.
False information is grounds for denial. Your application will be denied if you misrepresent any information on the application. If misrepresentations are found after a rental agreement is signed, your rental agreement will be terminated immediately.
Criminal convictions for certain types of crimes will result in denial of your application. Your application may be denied if you have been convicted of any type of crime [including the manufacture or distribution of controlled substances] that would be considered a serious threat to real property or to other residents’ peaceful enjoyment. Additional Information available in CORI policy.
Certain court judgments against you may result in denial of your application. If in the past 7 years, you have been through a court-ordered eviction or had any judgment against you for financial delinquency, your application will be denied. This restriction may be waived if there has not been more than one such incident, the circumstances can be justified, and you provide a qualified cosigner on your rental agreement.
A poor credit record (overdue accounts) may result in denial of your application. Credit records showing occasional payments within 30 days past due will be acceptable, provided you can justify the circumstances. Records showing payments after 90 days are not acceptable.
Poor references from previous landlords may result in denial of your application. You will be turned own if previous landlords report significant complaints such as repeated disturbance of the neighbors’ peace, reports of prostitution, drug dealing, or drug manufacturing, damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear, reports of violence or threats to landlords or neighbors, allowing persons not on the lease to reside on the premises, and failure to give proper notice when vacating the property. Also, you will be turned down if a previous landlord would be disinclined to rent to you again for any reason pertaining to lease violations by you, your pets, or others allowed on the property during your tenancy.
We will accept the first qualified applicant.
If your application is accepted, you will be required to sign a rental agreement in which you will agree to abide by the rules of the rental unit or complex. A complete copy of our rental agreement is available for anyone who would like to review it. In addition to the other important requirements, please note that your rental agreement will:
This policy is applicable to the criminal history screening of prospective and current employees, subcontractors, volunteers and interns, professional licensing applicants, and applicants for the rental or leasing of housing.
Where Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and other criminal history checks may be part of a general background check for employment, volunteer work, licensing purposes, or the rental or leasing of housing, the following practices and procedures will be followed.
CORI – Criminal Offender Record Index
DCJIS – Department of Criminal Justice Information Systems
MGL – Massachusetts General Laws
CONDUCTING CORI SCREENING
CORI checks will only be conducted as authorized by the DCJIS and MGL c. 6, §. 172, and only after a CORI Acknowledgement Form has been completed.
Except for screening for the rental or leasing of housing, if a new CORI check is to be made on a subject within a year of his/her signing of the CORI Acknowledgement Form, the subject shall be given seventy-two (72) hours’ notice that a new CORI check will be conducted.
If a requester is screening for the rental or leasing of housing, a CORI Acknowledgement Form shall be completed for each and every subsequent CORI check.
ACCESS TO CORI
All CORI obtained from the DCJIS is confidential, and access to the information must be limited to those individuals who have a “need to know”. This may include, but not be limited to, hiring managers, staff submitting the CORI requests, and staff charged with processing job applications. APT Property Services must maintain and keep a current list of each individual authorized to have access to, or view, CORI. This list must be updated every six (6) months and is subject to inspection upon request by the DCJIS at any time.
An informed review of a criminal record requires training. Accordingly, all personnel authorized to review or access CORI at APT Property Services will review, and will be thoroughly familiar with, the educational and relevant training materials regarding CORI laws and regulations made available by the DCJIS.
Additionally, if APT Property Services is an agency required by MGL c. 6, s. 171A, to maintain a CORI Policy, all personnel authorized to conduct criminal history background checks and/or to review CORI information will review, and will be thoroughly familiar with, the educational and relevant training materials regarding CORI laws and regulations made available by the DCJIS.
USE OF CRIMINAL HISTORY IN BACKGROUND SCREENING
CORI used for employment purposes shall only be accessed for applicants who are otherwise qualified for the position for which they have applied.
Unless otherwise provided by law, a criminal record will not automatically disqualify an applicant. Rather, determinations of suitability based on background checks will be made consistent with this policy and any applicable law or regulations.
VERIFYING AN APPLICANTS IDENTITY
If a criminal record is received from the DCJIS, the information is to be closely compared with the information on the CORI Acknowledgement Form and any other identifying information provided by the applicant to ensure the record belongs to the applicant.
If the information in the CORI record provided does not exactly match the identification information provided by the applicant, a determination is to be made by an individual authorized to make such determinations based on a comparison of the CORI record and documents provided by the applicant.
INQUIRING ABOUT CRIMINAL HISTORY
In connection with any decision regarding employment, volunteer opportunities, housing, or professional licensing, the subject shall be provided with a copy of the criminal history record, whether obtained from the DCJIS or from any other source, prior to questioning the subject about his or her criminal history. The source(s) of the criminal history record is also to be disclosed to the subject.
If a determination is made, based on the information as provided in section V of this policy, that the criminal record belongs to the subject, and the subject does not dispute the record’s accuracy, then the determination of suitability for the position or license will be made. Unless otherwise provided by law, factors considered in determining suitability may include, but not be limited to, the following:
ADVERSE DECISIONS BASED ON CORI
If an authorized official is inclined to make an adverse decision based on the results of a criminal history background check, the applicant will be notified immediately. The subject shall be provided with a copy of the organization's CORI policy and a copy of the criminal history. The source(s) of the criminal history will also be revealed. The subject will then be provided with an opportunity to dispute the accuracy of the CORI record. Subjects shall also be provided a copy of DCJIS’ Information Concerning the Process for Correcting a Criminal Record.
SECONDARY DISSEMINATION LOGS
All CORI obtained from the DCJIS is confidential and can only be disseminated as authorized by law and regulation. A central secondary dissemination log shall be used to record any dissemination of CORI outside this organization, including dissemination at the request of the subject.