Criminal background

If you have recently been released from prison, it can be really hard to find housing because most landlords do criminal background checks on tenants. Make sure to ask the landlord about their background checks and tenant selection criteria before you pay any application fees. 

Federally subsidized  landlords, tax credit properties, and public housing authorities are supposed to have “reasonable” criminal history lookback periods. While, “reasonable” is not defined in the law, if you think the landlord is being unreasonable, you should contact a lawyer or your local legal aid service. The landlord should not reject your application based solely on your arrest record. See this page from Fair Housing Center for Rights & Research for more information about this.

This is an important place for advocacy in Texas. If you are having trouble finding housing, see if any local tenant organizations are advocating for policies that will make it easier for you to rent.