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Police Departments Are Screening Tenants For Landlords

by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at]
Concerns are being raised by activists that some local Police Departments in Alameda County may be providing video tapes / DVDs to landlords and property owners that contain the images of the different types of renters, that the police believe the landlords should not be renting to.

Police Departments Are Screening Tenants For Landlords

Police Offer Free Tenant Background Checks For Landlords And Rental Property Owners

By Lynda Carson -- December 13, 2011

Oakland -- Concerns are being raised by activists that some local Police Departments in Alameda County may be providing video tapes / DVDs to landlords and property owners that contain the images of the different types of renters, that the police believe the landlords should not be renting to.

According to sources, some of the images being presented to landlords by the police portray the mentally ill in a ridiculous and extremely offense manner, encouraging property owners to avoid renting to the mentally ill, and other renters being targeted by the police for displacement from their local communities. Stay tuned for more on this story, as more details become available.

As is, the police in Alameda County are working in partnership with landlords and property owners in an effort to transform neighborhoods into what are being called "crime free communities," and have targeted some renters for displacement, especially those considered to be so-called "nuisance tenants" by the police, the Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), and the Rental Housing Association of Northern Alameda County (RHANAC).

In Oakland, the attacks on renters are so extreme that the Nuisance Eviction Ordinance (NEO) provides that the City will give access to police records and other evidence, that may be used to determine that the tenant/s should be evicted when the City orders the landlord to evict tenants from their housing for so-called nuisance activities. Landlords may face penalties and hefty fines if they do not evict tenants when ordered to do so by the City, under the Nuisance Eviction Ordinance.

Additionally, Police Departments around the country are currently implementing new programs to provide free criminal background checks on renters for local landlords and property owners, and the latest concerns being raised in the Bay Area about the police providing video tapes / DVDs telling landlords what kind of people they should not rent to, may be just the tip of the iceberg.

In brief, the archives related to California criminal background checks are being maintained by local law enforcement agencies, and often the police are very secretive regarding how the information is being used to assist landlords and property owners in screening prospective renters, but it appears to be widespread.

The partnership between the police and property owners across the nation are on-going, and the police are involved in many different programs being implemented to run criminal background checks on individuals, couples, workers, students, and families with children that are seeking rental housing.

Activists believe that these fascist police state programs are creating more homelessness for families, veterans, people on probation, low-income workers, the disabled, handicapped, elderly, parolees, mentally ill and the poor, in the Bay Area.

In some cities, hundreds of prospective tenants a year are being rounded up and landing in jail for petty offenses after signing a rental application, and a criminal background check was run on them as part of the process to rent a house, or an apartment. Some tenants are being rounded up for petty offenses, when landlords conduct surprise background checks on families that have already been renting from them for many years.

For instance, on July 1, 2011, in the City of Dubuque, Iowa, a new ordinance went into effect that requires landlords to run criminal background checks on everyone that fills out a rental application, and landlords that have ten rental units or more are now required to attend a city program about "crime free housing." Landlords may face a fine, or lose their rental license if they do not comply with the ordinance.

The police have already offered landlords free background checks on renters during the past few years in Dubuque, but the program was not mandatory. The new law is mandatory and requires landlords and property owners to conduct background checks that search for any misdemeanor or felony charges, and convictions of renters, in the effort to make a so-called "safer community."

In another example, as recent as late May of 2011, the Bettendorf Police Department announced that it has implemented a new free tenant screening program for landlords and rental property owners in Bettendorf, Iowa.

The Police Department's program is called BLAST (Bettendorf Landlord Assistance Screening Tenants), that threatens the privacy rights of renters with the underhanded police state tactics being offered, in the effort to assist property owners and landlords in determining who shall, or who shall not reside in the local community.

Bettendorf's population is around 33,200, and as of the census of 2,000, the racial makeup of the city was 95.01% white. The median income for men was $48,524, compared to only $28,564 for women in 2,000, and according to, currently 17.6 percent of the housing in Bettendorf is renter occupied.

To apply for the free tenant screening program (BLAST) being offered by the police, landlords and property owners in Bettendorf must fill out and submit a form, and provide social security numbers, the name/s and alias of the renter/s seeking housing, including the names of their children and dates of birth, plus the name and phone number of the renter's employer. The landlords and property owners submit the forms to the Crime Prevention Unit, and the background investigations take around 5 business days to complete. The program is supposed to be voluntary, but it appears that the renters are not being asked to volunteer for the program, because this is a program for landlords and property owners.

The above mentioned programs being operated and maintained by the police are starting to spring up all across the country, in the effort to assist landlords and property owners in the creation of so-called "crime free communities."

Additionally in California, the California Department of Justice offers an automated service for criminal history background checks that may be required in regards to employment, licensing and certification.

The police state programs are all being designed to determine who resides and works in our communities all across the nation, and have had a profound impact on all of those that are being negatively affected as a direct result.

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at]

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California Cities Involved In The Crime Free Multi Housing Program

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What is the Crime Free Multi Housing program?

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List of so-called Crime Free Communities In El Cajonne...

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El Cajon Police Department

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"Keep Illegal Activity Off Rental Property"

What is the Crime Free Multi Housing program?

The Crime Free Multi-Housing Program is a, state-of-the-art, crime prevention program designed to reduce crime, drugs, and gangs on apartment properties. This program was successfully developed at the Mesa Arizona Police Department in 1992. The International Crime Free Multi-Housing Program has spread to nearly 2,000 cities in 44 U.S. states and Canada. The City of El Cajon has offered the CFMH program since 1997 and currently has 150 certified apartment communities.

The program consists of three phases that must be completed under the supervision of the local police department. Property managers can become individually certified after completing training in each phase and the property becomes certified upon successful completion of all three phases.

The anticipated benefits are reduced police calls for service, a more stable resident base, and reduced exposure to civil liability. Fully certified properties have reported reductions in police calls for service up to 70% over previous years. The heart and soul of the program is in the correct implementation and use of the Crime Free Lease Addendum.

Crime Free Multi-Housing Program Benefits:

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
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 may include:

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 tenants. Increased resentment and anger between neighbors and property managers
The loss of other valued tenants
Here is a brief outline of the program contents:

Phase I - Management Training (8-Hours) Taught by the Police






Crime Prevention Theory
CPTED Theory (Physical Security)
Benefits of Resident Screening
Lease Agreements and Eviction Issues
Crime Free Lease Addendum
On-Going Security Management Monitoring and Responding to Criminal Activity
How to identify Gang and Narcotic Activity
Disaster Preparedness for Apartment Communities
Phase II - CPTED - Survey by the Police

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Survey (CPTED)
Minimum door, window, and lock standards compliance inspection
Minimum exterior lighting standards evaluation
Key Control procedures evaluation
Landscape maintenance standards compliance
Phase III - Community Awareness Training

Annual crime prevention social taught by property management and police
Community awareness and continuous participation is encouraged
Once fully certified, certificates are issued that permits the right to post the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program sign and advertise membership in the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program in the print media using the official logo. This certificate expires every year unless renewed following compliance with Phases I & II.


For further information, questions regarding the program or to register for the next training class, please contact Samantha Scheurn at 619-579-4227 or by email sscheurn [at]

An additional advantage to being fully certified is that potential tenants can call the police department or check the website for a list of fully certified properties.
Apart from gangsters and their clientele, that is.
(Google Web)
Police Departments Are Screening Tenants For Landlords

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Landlords Face $500 Fines For Choosing Bad Tenants
by CHRIS on AUGUST 22, 2011

A new law in Antioch, Illinois means landlords who choose bad tenants could end up paying for it–as much as $500 per day.

Ordinances like this, which target landlords in crime-ridden neighborhoods, are becoming commonplace. In this case, the town’s police chief told a local news reporter that the law could be applied to a variety of crimes including disorderly conduct, drug sales, prostitution, and gun violations.

This places the responsibility on landlords to properly screen tenants, or suffer the consequences.

While it may be impossible to predict which tenants will violate the law, running tenant screening reports, including a criminal background check will allow landlords to eliminate rental applicants who are a bad risk.

In Antioch, if police respond to a property three times within four months, the landlord may be called upon to meet with police and to offer solutions.  The police department will assist landlords in developing a crime abatement plan, according to the report.

Part of that plan will undoubtedly entail evicting problem tenants.  While most state eviction laws allow for the landlord to boot a tenant who commits a crime, if there is any question, landlords may want to have a lawyer put such a provision in the lease agreement.  Still, eviction will take some time, and the landlord will shoulder the expense.

While police have pledged to work with landlords, if the abatement plan doesn’t solve the problem, the landlord may end up in court and the rental property could be “shut down”, or the landlord could be fined $500 each day.

The police chief told reporters he is hopeful individual cases can be resolved short of going to court. 

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

by Stop Police Program
William's Baby
Hi everyone,

It's almost time for my husband to be released on parole. :yay: Anyway, I am having the hardest time finding good apartments that will accept "criminals". My city has become part of this "Crime Free Multi-Housing Program", so now half of the complexes in my area do not rent to felons or parolees.

Last week I went to the next town down the freeway from mine, and put in an application at a brand new complex. Again, the application states that they do criminal background checks and do not rent to ex-offenders. And they aren't even part of the Crime Free Program. Here in an example of what I mean:

(One of the "Rejected Applications" reasons listed on the application)

BEHAVIOR AND CONDUCT: A history of behavior which constitutes a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals will disqualify an applicant. Any applicant who has been convicted of drug related crimes and/or demonstrated a history of burglary, robbery, vandalism or aggravated assault or other crimes against persons or property will not be accepted.

Then there is a sheet where you can sign at the end if you want them to give you a copy of your criminal report after they receive it. I really don't believe that this is fair. Every decent apartment that isn't in the ghetto has these background checks now. Does this make sense to anyone? Let's put all the ex-felons together in the ghetto?????? Does this sound like Rehabilition to you????

I actually think this should be considered discrimination. But it's not, according to the info I've found on several California Apartment Association websites. It says right on there that apartment managers are allowed to look back at the last 7 years of your criminal record, and if they see a crime that they don't like, they don't have to rent to you.

Has anyone else had an issue like this? I'm really starting to stress out! :angry: I don't want to pay $1,500 for a one bedroom and I don't want to live in the ghetto, but it seems like these are my only choices now!!!! And with that said, even some of these ghetto places are jumping on the crime-free bandwagon. WHAT'S LEFT FOR US???

Also, we can't buy a house until he has a job, so I feel like I am just running around in circles. HELP ME PLEASE IF YOU HAVE ANY INFO ON THIS!


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