Residential Property Management/apartment app. fees

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Question
I'm 63 and have lived in the same apartment for over 20 years, I know. I have an excellent credit score, have never been late on rent or had any issues. But 23 years ago in another state, I got a misdemeanor conviction for a non-violent crime. There was no background check when I moved here, but if I move to another newer apt. complex they all do that now, and also charge a non-refundable application fee. One of them told me they can't say if I would be approved or denied without first doing that, they outsource that and are only told 'approved' or 'denied.' But app. fees are not cheap and it could get expensive paying that each time I apply somewhere, only to be denied. Is there a way around this? I read that apartments make a lot of money from app. fees, but seems they would be able to give me a clue if I'd be approved or denied first, since the company doing it must have some kind of guidelines. i.e. the type of offense, how long ago, whether it was in another state etc., but I don't know. Any feedback is appreciated.

Answer
First thing I would recommend is to check and see if that offense is still on record, and if so, whether or not it can be expunged. That's out of my realm of knowledge so you would need to check with a criminal attorney.

If the offense is still on record, and if it's minor, I recommend just admitting to it and divulging that before filling out the application and paying the fee. Most larger companies will likely perform background checks, so you might as well be preemptive (note that some smaller management companies or landlords may not do criminal background checks). Hopefully you can get a read as to whether this would be an allowable situation before submitting the application.

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Mike Fortunato

Expertise

Very familiar with all aspects of property management (tenant/landlord issues, lease administration, facilities maintenance, financials, etc). 25+ years in property management

Experience

I have been in real estate management for 25+ years, both residential and commercial properties. Currently own and operate a commercial and residential real estate management company in southern California.

Organizations
IREM; BOMA; MLS; National Association of Realtors; California Association of Realtors

Education/Credentials
CPM (Certified Property Manager) and RPA (Real Property Administrator)

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