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Tenants denied housing over old convictions reach settlement

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gavelSEATTLE — A settlement was announced Wednesday in a class action lawsuit on behalf of people who were denied rental housing based on the improper use of old conviction information.

The settlement will enable them to have a fair chance to obtain rental housing, according to the ACLU of Washington.

The suit was filed in April on behalf of a Kent woman who was denied rental housing after a tenant screening company issued a report that included information on a conviction for drug possession that happened more than 20 years ago.

Reporting criminal conviction information older than seven years violates the Washington Fair Credit Reporting Act (WFCRA) and the Consumer Protection Act.

Although the tenant screening company denied any wrongdoing, under the settlement 273 Washington residents whose screening reports included criminal history information older than seven years will receive a total of $109,200.

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