Housing Discrimination

Criminal History

As a general rule, it is not against the law for a landlord to have a policy of refusing to rent to an individual because of his or her criminal history. However, if the policy has a greater, or disparate, impact on a protected class (race, national origin, disability), it may be subject to challenge.

In Massachusetts a housing provider’s access to criminal records is governed by law and the law is changing. For an outline of the current law and the changes to the law that will be in effect in May, 2012, see an analysis prepared by the Massachusetts ACLU and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute.