Legislation proposed in the state Assembly would regulate the timing of criminal background checks during the tenant-application process and limit the use of criminal records in denying applications.

AB 53 would prohibit rental property owners from asking any questions about a prospective renter’s criminal history during the “initial application assessment phase” of tenant screening, unless otherwise required by federal or state law. The bill comes from Assemblymen Reginald Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, and Rob Bonta, D-Alameda.

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