What to Do if You Have a Hard Time Finding a Place to Live Due to Your Criminal Record

Searching for a place to live when you have a criminal record can be challenging. Landlords and property managers often run background checks and may hesitate to rent to those with a criminal history. But don’t worry, this guide is designed to help you navigate this difficult situation, with specific advice for individuals in Illinois seeking to expunge or seal their criminal record.

What to Do if You Have a Hard Time Finding a Place to Live Due to Your Criminal Record

This guide will shed light on the following topics:

  • How a criminal record affects housing options
  • How to talk to potential landlords about your record
  • The benefits of expungement and sealing
  • Eligibility and process for expungement or sealing in Illinois
  • The role of an expungement lawyer in improving housing prospects

Let’s dive deeper into each of these areas.

How a Criminal Record Affects Housing Options

Having a criminal record can narrow your housing options, as some landlords or property management companies may be wary of renting to individuals with a criminal history. Understanding this challenge is the first step to overcoming it.

How to Talk to Potential Landlords About Your Record

When discussing your past with potential landlords, honesty is critical. Be prepared to explain your situation and emphasize the positive changes you’ve made since your conviction.

Related: Clearing your criminal record in Chicago

The Benefits of Expungement and Sealing

Expungement and sealing your record can dramatically improve your housing prospects. Expungement eliminates the record entirely, while sealing hides it from most public databases, making it easier to secure housing.

Eligibility and Process for Expungement or Sealing in Illinois

The eligibility criteria for expungement and sealing varies based on factors like the nature of the crime, the time that has passed since the conviction, and your behavior afterward. The process can be complex, but with the right legal support, it’s entirely manageable.

Related: Misconceptions about expungement in Illinois

The Role of an Expungement Lawyer in Improving Housing Prospects

An expungement lawyer can help you navigate the legal process, assist with necessary paperwork, and represent you in court, if necessary. Their expertise can significantly increase your chances of success.

FAQ About Housing and Criminal Records

Check out these commonly asked questions about housing and criminal records. If you don’t see the answers here, please call our office and we’ll get you the information you need.

Will all landlords conduct background checks?

Not necessarily, but it’s common for landlords and property management companies to run background checks as part of their tenant screening process.

Related: Expungement to improve your job opportunities

What types of housing are most likely to accept tenants with a criminal record?

Smaller landlords and nonprofit housing organizations may be more willing to rent to individuals with a criminal record.

Can expungement or sealing guarantee I’ll get housing?

While expungement or sealing greatly improves your chances, it doesn’t guarantee housing approval. Each landlord has different policies.

How long does it take to expunge or seal a record?

The timeframe can vary significantly, ranging from several weeks to months, depending on the specifics of your case.

Related: Can you expunge juvenile records in Illinois?

Navigating the rental market with a criminal record can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that there are options available to you. By understanding your rights, knowing how to communicate effectively with potential landlords, and exploring legal avenues such as expungement or sealing, you can increase your chances of securing suitable housing. Remember, we’re here to guide you through this process and provide the professional legal advice you need.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Expungement or Sealing?

If you’re tired of your criminal past coming back to bite you, we may be able to help. Call us right now at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below so we can talk about your case.

Need Help? Reach Out Now.