It depends. If you have completed your sentence in full, nobody can restrict who you live with. Two felons can live together without any legal consequences. However, if you have not fully completed your sentence, things may be different for you.
Can you live with another felon if you are on probation or parole?
Sometimes. Often, one of your conditions of parole may be that you cannot “associate” with other felons. This would include sharing a home. Such a condition is very common.
However, in a practical sense, this might be difficult. Sometimes, courts are willing to make exceptions. There are a few common exceptions to this rule, but all of these decisions are the judge’s to make.
- Spouse: Someone who is on probation may be married to someone with a felony record. In this case, a judge may approve of you living together.
- Other family members: Sometimes your only living option would be to live with a family member who has a felony record. A judge might consider whether this is an acceptable situation for you.
- Roommates: Breaking a lease and moving are both expensive and disruptive. If you share a lease with someone with a felony record before you were convicted, you may be able to keep it while on probation.
- Halfway house: If you go to a halfway house while on probation or parole, you will live there with other felons. However, this is often a condition of your release. Judges will make an exception for this situation.
There may be other exceptions. Many of these decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. If you think you should get an exception, the best thing to do is talk to an attorney.
Do felons have any other restrictions on where they can live?
Yes. Having a felony on your record can prevent you from living in some places. For example, in some states, you cannot apply for Section 8/HUD housing. In others, you can, but there is a waiting period.
Sometimes the restrictions are not legal restrictions. The Federal Housing Authority prohibits housing discrimination against people for many reasons. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determined that landlords could not discriminate against someone with a criminal record without good reason. Doing so would violate the Fair Housing Act and is considered illegal discrimination.
The two exceptions to this rule are applicants who are required to register as a sex offender for their lifetime, and applicants who were convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine while living on a property that they received federal assistance for. Also, some crimes will have additional restrictions even after you complete your sentence. For example, sex offenders will not be able to live near schools, parks or other places where children gather.
If both people fully completed their sentences, two felons can live together. But often, terms of release or probation will prohibit you from living with another felon. A judge may make exceptions in some cases, such as if you are married to someone with a felony record.
As a felon, you may have other restrictions on where you can live, based on the nature of your crime. However, it is legal for landlords and property managers to discriminate against you for your record, but they must have good reason to do so. These reasons cannot be based on stereotypes, opinions or generalizations.