A state Senate bill introduced this year would prohibit most California landlords from using criminal background checks as part of the tenant screening process.

Sen. Aisha Wahab

The legislation, SB 460 by Sen. Aisha Wahab, D-Hayward, would create the Fair Chance Access to Housing Act and prohibit most rental housing providers from directly or indirectly:

  • Inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history.
  • Requiring an applicant to disclose their criminal history.
  • Requiring an applicant to authorize the release of their criminal history.

The bill also would prohibit property owners from denying housing based on their knowledge of an applicant’s criminal records obtained from prior landlords or other sources.

The bill would not apply to single-family homes, accessory units, and duplexes where the property owner lives on site or to a tenant who is looking for a roommate.