Can a Criminal History Prevent You From Getting a House in Chicago?

Landlords in Chicago and other Illinois cities may be able to see your criminal record – and they might use it against you when they’re deciding whether you’re allowed to live in their buildings.

Here’s the deal: Having a criminal record can haunt you for years – but you could be eligible for criminal record expungement.

Related: Find out if you’re eligible for expungement now

Can a Criminal History Prevent You From Getting a House in Chicago?

Landlords are legally allowed to pull up your criminal background when you fill out an application to live in a certain apartment or building. And if you’re applying for public housing, you’re definitely in for a background check

How Can You Tell if a Landlord is Going to Check Your Criminal History?

If you have to provide your Social Security number when you apply for a place to live, you can probably bet that the landlord or a management company is going to check your criminal history (along with your credit report). 

What Does the Illinois Housing Handbook Say?

The Illinois Housing Handbook (here) says that if you’ve ever been arrested, you should look into criminal record expungement or sealing. If your record is expunged or sealed, landlords won’t be able to see it, which might mean that you’ll be more successful when you’re house-hunting. (Job-hunting, too, but that’s another subject.)

Should You Work With a Lawyer if Your Criminal Record Will Prevent You From Getting a House?

If you think that your criminal record is holding you back, call a Chicago expungement lawyer at 847-920-4540. We’ll be happy to give you a free consultation and have a look at what’s in your past – and if you’re eligible for expungement or sealing, we can help you clear your criminal record so it can’t hold you back any longer.