What is the 7 Year Rule on Criminal Reports?

The 7 year rule on criminal reports may be confusing to tenants and leasing managers. This article helps explain the State Specific Laws around this rule.

  • Wednesday, March 8, 2017

  General   Tips   

The 7 year rule on criminal reports may be confusing to tenants and leasing managers. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, a legislation that was created to promote the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information in the files of credit reporting agencies, lets criminal convictions be reported for an indefinite amount of time, unless state law prohibits it.

There are 5 states that don't allow for criminal convictions to be reported unless the applicant makes a certain amount in salary each year. These states are Kansas, Maryland, New York, Washington, and New Hampshire. In Kansas, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Washington, this salary amount is $20,000. In New York, the salary amount is $25,000. There are 3 states that do not allow for the convictions to be reported, regardless of applicant's salary. These 3 states are New Mexico, Montana and California.

To clear up some muddy waters, basically a consumer reporting agency can not report an arrest that is more than 7 years old. However, the agency can report a conviction of a crime, no matter how long ago the conviction occurred. There is also another exemption to the 7 year rule: if an applicant is applying for a job that carries a salary over $75,000, the consumer reporting agency can report the conviction to the employer.

At VerticalRent, we pride ourselves on keeping up-to-date knowledge on state-specific landlord-tenant information and laws. We make it easy for leasing managers and brokers to screen future tenants and provide rental property management software. Our services include checking the credit of future tenants, conducting free eviction background checks plus free tenant background checks. Our rental property management software collects rent online, helps brokers advertise vacant rentals, and manages the rentals financials.

If you are a property manager or broker interested in VerticalRent's services, check out our tenant screening guide, and read through our free eBook to learn more about our company.


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