When living with a criminal record, there are certainly going to be some restrictions that can make your life harder. If you are looking to buy a house, having a criminal record can complicate a process that is already hard enough to start with. This article will discuss how a criminal record may impact your ability to buy a house, as well as what you can do about it.
Getting a Mortgage and Insurance
When buying a house, two of the most important things you need are a mortgage and insurance. Not everyone can afford to buy a house in full. This is why a mortgage loan is a very essential part of purchasing a house. Typically, banks and private mortgage lenders will run a criminal background check before giving out a loan. If you have a criminal record, there is a good chance that your mortgage application will be denied. This is especially true if your criminal record involves violations of a financial nature, such as theft or fraud.
A home insurance policy is a contract that you and your insurance company make together to cover the cost of repairs and replacements in the case that your house is damaged. However, a criminal record can prevent you from easily getting approval for an insurance policy. This is a problem because many mortgage lenders require an approved insurance policy to issue a loan. In sum, a criminal record may not entirely prevent you from buying a house, but it does make it difficult for you to be approved for the mortgage and insurance, both of which are what home owning normally requires.
Apart from making it harder for you to buy a house, a criminal record also affects your ability to rent a property. On top of the usual credit check, most landlords may do a criminal record check in the screening process of potential tenants as well. If your prospective landlord sees that you have a criminal record, there is a high chance that they will deny your rental application. Keep in mind that the risk of having your rental application rejected usually comes down to the judgment of the landlord as well as the infraction. For example, infractions that involve money or property are typically frowned upon by landlords.
Getting a Canadian Pardon
If you have a criminal record but want to buy or rent a property, then you should consider getting a Canadian Pardon, or Record Suspension, to increase your chances. With a Canadian Pardon, your criminal record will be sealed from the public, which means that your potential mortgage lender, an insurance company, and a landlord will not be able to see your crimes from the past when carrying out a criminal record check.
By obtaining a Canadian Pardon, it will be much easier for you to reintegrate into society after you have served your sentence. Buying or renting a property can be one of the first things that will help you integrate back into the community. Note that there are requirements for getting a Pardon, and some offences are not eligible for it. Therefore, it is imperative that you determine whether you are eligible for a Canadian Pardon before starting the application process.
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