IOWA: A criminal records check box allows a landlord and/or property owner to have a handle on a tenant’s record immediately. An owner of a property refers the right to carry out a criminal records check on a potential renter. However the Human Rights Commission in Waterloo is typical of other activists and campaigners throughout the States currently in wishing to ‘Ban the Box’. This to allow renters and tenants to have an opportunity for dialogue with a landlord without the need for a criminal records check putting daylight on everything. A landlords group in Black Hawk advised the changes may well hurt renters who aren’t familiar with all rules and don’t belong to the association.

The association went on that it may well be that extra properties had been purchased for investment and/or retirement income or may have been part of an inheritance but irrespective they may not know the mechanics of letting or the rules. If there is something missing from the application such as a criminal records check box then the potential tenant won’t be asked. The president of Black Hawk Landlords wants to look out for those not entirely familiar with the process whether a member of the association or not. What happens if a criminal records check or background check isn’t carried out and a drug user, pedophile or sex offender is inadvertently housed next door to a family with young children. It is also put forward that the ‘Ban the Box’ movement is hindering renters who wish to improve their quality of life and move forward.

Any individual re entering society is not only at a disadvantage as far as employment is concerned but also housing. The idea is that a tenant and renter should enter into communication then if a renter then feels the need to perform a criminal records check they can. The issue continues to revolve around the fact that any individual with a criminal record isn’t treated fairly. Waterloo City Council are holding a work session on Monday with regards to the criminal records check box and vote on November 2 as to whether to ban the box.

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