How to ask 'Have you been in prison?'

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  • How to ask 'Have you been in prison?'

    I have a very new lodger and have now been told by a neighbour that he may have been to prison in the past. As there will be other lodgers moving in soon, I need to know. I cannot ask straight out as it may rebound badly on the one who told me. And how I wish they hadn't!
    Is there a list of questions for prospective lodgers that i can slip in the question casually?

  • #2
    You could throw some soap on the floor and see what happens?

    Seriously though, yes I suppose you could formulate a 'standard' lodger questionaire which is what I think you are thinking, asking simple questions, and sneaking in the one your really want. Not personal this way.

    What was your last address
    How long did you live there
    Do you have any CCJs
    Have you ever been committed of a criminal offence/served time in prison
    Where do you work
    Do you work and have the right to work in the UK

    Search Google for tenant/lodger questionaire and adapt it I guess



    • #3
      You can ask loads of questions - but eventually nearly all prison sentences are wiped from the slate due to the 'rehabilitation of offenders act'. Essentially, after X months or years you can deny having spent time in jail for just about everything. There are some exceptions - like working with children - but otherwise it's perfectly legal for someone to deny it.


      • #4
        Please tell us what particularly concerns you. Is it insurance? Children present? Would it just be you and the lodger in the property? The nature of the conviction?

        You’ve permitted this person to move in. Are you getting along?


        • #5
          We are getting along very well indeed and I am happy to have him here. If it was just me, not a problem.
          But I am advertising two other rooms in the house. Say the conviction was for theft or violence. How can I invite others in? It is a great responsibility. And - this is my second thought after protecting people - the legal implications are horrendous.


          • #6
            Do you have any unspent convictions?

            I’m not sure that they are legally obliged to tell someone like a landlord. Unspent convictions need to be disclosed to employers.


            • #7
              I used renewing the house insurance as cover and asked him if he had a criminal record. He said No - and I believe him. So that is that. Thank you very much for your time, people. next lodger applicant I shall ask the same question again. Live and eventually maybe learn.


              • #8
                Yes, I thought that may be a perfectly valid reason for asking.


                • #9
                  OK I am done here and thank you all. you are great.


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