Hesperia-Crime-Free-Rental-Policy-Update

Hesperia Crime-Free Rentals Update

City of Hesperia Crime Free Rentals Update
Hesperia City Hall

What Happened?

After seven years, the City of Hesperia ended its crime-free rental policy. A federal settlement claims discrimination based on the Fair Housing Act and Civil Rights Act. The city repealed the ordinance as of last month and agreed to pay a settlement fee of $670,000 to tenants who were evicted and displaced.

On December 27th, 2022 the County of San Bernardino and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department are no longer enforcing this ordinance. The sheriff’s department agreed to pay a $100,000 civil penalty.

San Bernardino County Sheriff

Background

First of all, what was the original ordinance?

Around 2,000 cities nationwide have crime-free housing ordinances. The city of Hesperia enacted this policy in 2015. It required landlords to submit prospective tenants’ names to the sheriff for background checks. Additionally, annual police inspections kept tabs on tenants. people with criminal allegations regardless of arrest, charge, or conviction. People with criminal allegations regardless of arrest, charge, or conviction faced eviction.

How this may affect you

The city of Hesperia modified the rental housing business license ordinance, and reduced the fees associated with rental housing business licenses.

Landlords

Landlords are not required to conduct criminal background checks of current or prospective tenants or submit their names to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Thus, property owners should be mindful of any discriminatory practices when screening prospective tenants.

If you’ve become aware of any former tenant of yours whose eviction was related to the City of Hesperia’s Crime-Free Rental Housing Ordinance please file a motion in the Superior Court
of the State of California, San Bernardino County, to vacate and seal the eviction record and dismiss the case. Please contact the Court if you have any questions about this process. Please take reasonable steps to verify that the Court has granted your motion and, once granted, provide written notification to credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion that the judgment has been vacated.

Tenants

Any former tenant believed to be a victim of discrimination may contact the Housing and Civil Enforcement of the US Department of Justice at: (202) 514-4713 or fairhousing@usdoj.gov.

Tenants may be entitled to compensation under the settlement fund and should contact the Justice Department at Hesperia.Investigation@usdoj.gov or 1-833-223-1571.

Also, individuals may also report discrimination by contacting HUD at 1-800-669-9777, or by filing a complaint online here.

Final Words

Here at Access compliance is our priority. Therefore, staying up to date with new real estate legislation is key to providing the best service to our clients.

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Access Asset Management, Inc is a property management company offering reliable property management solutions to renters and homeowners in Southern California.

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