There are four things that apartments are evaluating on any rental application:
1) Employment and Income
2) Credit History
3) Rental History
4) Criminal Background
So that I can give you a thorough explanation, I’m going to take each of these in a separate blog post. This is the final installment in this series. This post is about the process Austin apartments use to check your criminal background. The other topics are linked above.
Apartments do a criminal background check on potential residents for the protection of the people currently living at the property. Criminal records are public information, so the apartment will most likely pull your record using a background check service. They will check for both felonies and misdemeanors. Any crime involving violence, any child-related crimes or any sexual crimes are almost never accepted.
Still only a few will accept renters that have any sort of criminal record, even if the crime was non-violent. Others will work with you after 3 years, still others 7 years, but 10 years is more common. Even a felony DWI in which nobody got hurt can still make it difficult to rent.
Age is also not a consideration in the apartments evaluation. In the state of Texas, if you were charged as an adult, regardless of the age you were at the time of the crime, apartments will consider it part of your record and it will be factored into your acceptance / denial. Deferred Adjudication also does not take the incident off your record, and apartments will still take it into consideration.
If you have a criminal record, the best thing you can do is be honest before plopping down the application fee.