OAKLAND, Calif. - Alameda County is the first county in the United States to ban landlords from criminal background checks on prospective tenants.
The ordinance will prohibit both private and public landlords from requiring applicants to disclose arrests or convictions.
Supporters say it will make it easier for people to find a place to live.
Others say those checks are an important safety for tenants and living nearby.
The Fair Chance Ordinance — part of a package of three tenant protection bills the county Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday — applies to most residential units in the unincorporated communities of Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview, San Lorenzo and Sunol.
It also prohibits private and public landlords from requiring applicants to disclose previous arrests or convictions, and disallows advertising that discourages people with criminal histories from applying for housing.
The new law will take effect once the county's pandemic eviction moratorium expires at the end of April.