Laguna Woods Village amends lease policy to eliminate background, credit checks – Orange County Register

The Third Mutual housing board on Thursday, Nov. 16 unanimously approved amendments to its lease policy, rescinding the criminal background check and credit check requirements and lowering the lease renewal fee

Earlier this year, Third Mutual passed a lease policy that required a criminal background check and credit check as a part of the lease application and lease-renewal application. Since going into effect four months ago, renters and owners alike have spoken against the background and financial check requirements — the amendments passed Thursday eliminate them.

“The new policy distressed some existing lessors and tenants, who expressed concerns regarding the sharing of criminal background and credit and reference checks with Third Mutual,” a Village Management Service report stated. “Many existing members, who are also lessors, considered the requirements and process an invasion of privacy.”

The resolution comes after Third Mutual voted to suspend the criminal and financial background check requirements for 60 days, at a special meeting in October. The suspension was created to allow time for the lease policy amendments to go through, Director Burt Baum said in October.

Although the background checks were eliminated, Baum said that it is recommended for lessors to ask lessees for them. He added that the amended policy will make the application process easier for the lessor and lessee.

“We have made the process easier in the sense that we’ve separated the actual procedure from the application,” Baum said. “Rather than having to check off every page of the procedure it is now a one-page document that both the lessor and the lessee can sign, signifying that he’s read the policy and understands all of the provisions in it and will abide by it.”

A provision was added that the lessee must sign that they have not committed a felony within the last 20 years and have not had a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude within the last five years.

“This is something that we require of everyone who buys into this community, too,” Baum said. “So we’re not just doing it for renters; we’re not trying to isolate or discriminate them in any way.”

Another amendment added to the lease policy reduced the renewal fee from $150 to $110.

The resolution will be revisited in December for a final vote.

Corporate members meeting

Also on Thursday, Third Mutual voted unanimously to ask the Golden Rain Foundation to call for a corporate members…

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