Crime Free Programs
The Crime Free Multi-Housing Program is an international program. The
program began in 1992 and has spread to over 40 states, 4 Canadian
provinces, and over 1500 cities. Tim Zehring, founder of the
Crime Free Multi-Housing Program, can be seen below left in New Westminster, B.C.
(Canada) which was the first international city to join the Crime Free
(Click on photo to enlarge.)
A stable, more satisfied tenant base.
Increased demand for rental units with a reputation for active management.
Lower maintenance and repair costs.
- Increased property values.
- Improved personal safety for tenants, landlords, and managers.
Points to Consider
Costs of Drug Activity In Rental Property
When drug criminals and other destructive tenants operate out of rental
property, neighborhoods suffer and landlords pay a high price. That price
- Decline in property values -- particularly when the activity begins
affecting the reputation of the neighborhood.
- Property damage arising from abuse, retaliation, or neglect;
property damage from police raids.
- Fire resulting from manufacturing or growing operations.
- Civil penalties, including temporary closure of the property -- or
even property seizure.
- Loss of rent during the eviction and repair periods.
- Fear and frustration when dealing with dangerous and threatening
- Increased resentment and anger between neighbors and property
- The loss of other valued tenants.
The Crime Free Multi-Housing Program will teach you:
I. Prevention and Applicant Screening
II. Drug Nuisance Abatement
Warning signs of drug activity.
Actions you must take if you discover your tenant or tenant's guests
are conducting illegal activities at your property.
Role of the police.
Crisis resolution and the eviction process.
III. Resource Materials
- 100-page manual with additional community resources for tenants,
landlords, and property managers.
- A manual addressing fire and life safety awareness for tenants,
landlords, and property managers.
THE APPLICATION FORM
should have a set criterion or standards that they want the residents of
their manufactured housing community to meet. The application form is
their chance to gather information about their future residents. By making
their application clear, concise and thorough, management will be able to
make an informed decision and ensure that their criterion is being met.
is imperative that management carefully reads the entire application
before accepting it, making sure that every question is fully answered. If
the applicant discloses information that does not meet their rental
criteria the application should probably be denied.
accepting the application their job is only half done. The application is
of no use to management if they do not carefully screen or verify the
information. Management should take the time themselves, or hire someone qualified to do a
thorough screening and background check on all of the information
Suggested Criminal History Questions:
should have a keen interest in the people that want to live in their
rental community. No one wants to live next door to a person with a
violent or extensive criminal history.
part of the application process management should ask the applicant, (and
any other people who will be living in the home), about their criminal
history. If they refuse to disclose this information to the management,
they have the option not to rent to them.
It is recommended that management
get as much detailed information as they can. To assist management in gathering this
information, here are sample questions that may be asked on the application:
Have you, or any member of your household:
1. Ever been arrested, cited, prosecuted, plead guilty to, or been convicted of a crime?
2. Ever been placed on probation, parole, or any other release from jail, or prison?
3. Ever been or currently are a member of a gang?
4. Is there a current warrant for the
applicant or any members of their household?
5. Are applicants or any members of their household currently involved in any criminal activity?
6. Ever been evicted or had a forcible detainer filed against you?
7. Ever moved to avoid eviction or because of problems with other tenants or a landlord?
should be sure the applicants explain all “Yes” answers in detail. At
a minimum management should ask if the applicant or any person living in the
home has ever been convicted of a crime. Management should inquire about all crimes, not just
felonies. Many of the crimes that will cause management the most problems
are not felonies. I do not recommend you discriminate against applicants based
on an arrest. This is especially true if the charges were ultimately dropped.
credit reporting agencies will offer to search local or county court
records for criminal data pertaining to their prospective tenants. While many of these
companies make promising claims, the results they get may vary as greatly as the costs.
It is important to "shop
around" for the best results, using a control group of names
currently being processed. In most cases, management will see the best results
from companies that use licensed private investigators, and search
multiple courts and jurisdictions.
most states, material falsification of the information provided on the
rental application, will allow the management to serve a notice to the
resident, terminating the rental agreement.
the residents claims the misinformation was an “honest mistake” but the
corrected information they provide would have disqualified the applicant as well, the manager probably should proceed with the written
the corrected information would have allowed the resident to qualify, the
manager should probably void the notice. Most states allow for an
eviction against a resident who has given untrue or misleading information
on the application pertaining to such things as:
Prior eviction records
Income of prospective resident
Current criminal activity
Social security number
Number of occupants in dwelling unit
Refusing An Application
It is important that management keeps documentation
for the applications that they have refused to approve. This documentation should be kept in the
application file and retained for future use. Along with documentation,
management must be consistent in following the defined criteria and
standards they have set for their manufactured housing community.
that the Fair Housing Laws do not say you have to turn your I.Q. back 30
points, nor do they require that you have to rent to everyone who applies.
The Fair Housing Laws simply prohibit discrimination based on the
applicable protected classes in your area.
UPDATE: COPY, PASTE AND SEE THIS LINK FOR AN IMPORTANT HUD PAPER: https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=HUD_OGCGuidAppFHAStandCR.pdf
This website is not
intended to provide specific legal advice. Click here.