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What CORI Can Be Requested

What information is in the CORI report?

What information is on a CORI report depends upon who is requesting it and whether the housing is subsidized or market-rate.

When you are applying for housing, there are two types of CORI access: Required 1 and Standard. What Required 1 and Standard mean are explained in the next two questions. The major difference is that Required 1 access shows information for a longer period of time than Standard access.

Here is chart showing who can get what.10

Public housing authorities/government housing agencies that oversee any federal or state-funded public or subsidized housing

Required 1

Property management companies operating public or subsidized housing (also called multifamily subsidized housing)

Required 1

Property management companies with market-rate housing

Standard

Private landlords

Standard

Real estate agents

Standard

Landlords renting to subsidized housing voucher holders

Standard

What is Required 1 CORI access?

Public housing authorities and property management companies operating public or subsidized housing can request “Required 1” CORI access. Required 1 CORI access means that a requester will get:11

  • All criminal cases still going on in court, including cases where a person younger than 17 years old is being tried as an adult,12
  • Adult misdemeanor and felony convictions no matter how old, including cases where a person younger than 17 years old has been convicted as an adult (unless sealed),13 and
  • Murder, manslaughter or sex offense convictions, no matter how old (unless sealed).

The requester must not get:

  • Any sealed cases,
  • Juvenile cases when a person younger than 17 was not convicted as an adult,
  • Cases where there was no conviction,
  • Cases that were continued without a finding and then dismissed,
  • Civil cases, or
  • Non-incarcerable cases.

What is included in Standard CORI access?

Property management companies, real estate agents, and private landlords renting market rate housing may request “Standard” CORI access. Standard CORI access means that a requester will get:14

  • Criminal cases still going on in court,15
  • Misdemeanor convictions within the past 5 years, including cases where a person younger than 17 years old is convicted as an adult,
  • Felony convictions within the past 10 years, including cases where a person younger than 17 years old is convicted as an adult, and
  • Murder, manslaughter or sex offense convictions, no matter how old (unless sealed).

The requester must not get:

  • Any sealed cases,
  • Cases where there was no conviction,
  • Misdemeanor convictions more than 5 years old,
  • Felony convictions more than 10 years old,
  • Juvenile cases,
  • Civil cases, or
  • Non-incarcerable cases.

What juvenile records are included in a CORI?

In Massachusetts, if a person younger than 17 years old is convicted as an adult, this information will be on their CORI report.16 CORI reports must not include criminal record information about a person who is under 17 years of age if they were not convicted as an adult.

Can a consumer report be used to access my CORI?

Yes. A landlord, property management company, real estate agent or pubic housing authority may use a Consumer Reporting Agency to request an applicant’s CORI and other publicly available information.

A Consumer Reporting Agency is a private service which collects a wide range of information about criminal history, credit, evictions, and other information. It is most often a for-profit company. Landlords and housing authorities pay a fee for consumer reports. These reports can be incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading.

Before a Consumer Reporting Agency can request CORI from the state, a landlord, property management company, and real estate agent must: 1) notify you in writing that a consumer report may be used in making a decision; and 2) have you sign a separate form (separate from the CORI Acknowledgement Form), giving them permission to conduct background screening through such an service.

Please note

a housing authority administering a Section 8 program is prohibited from providing CORI to a consumer reporting agency.17 Because there is a conflict with the CORI regulations and HUD regulations on permissible access to CORI, the housing authority must comply with HUD regulations.

For more about how to correct a consumer report, see Credit Checks.

What can owners that receive a subsidized housing voucher request?

Private management companies and private landlords that rent to tenants with subsidized housing vouchers can only request Standard access to CORI.18 They can request this directly from the state or they can request this from a Consumer Reporting Agency.

If you have a federal Section 8 voucher the owner must follow federal rules for screening applicants. These rules apply to mobile vouchers (that go with a household) or project-based vouchers (that stay with the building). The rules prohibit owners from asking a housing authority to give them an applicant’s CORI.19 If an owner asks the housing authority for criminal record information, local housing authority can only tell the landlord if there is something on the CORI that would disqualify the tenant under the landlord’s own tenant selection policy, but cannot give the owner the CORI report itself.

What can a public housing authority request?

If you are applying for public housing or a Section 8 voucher or state voucher through a housing authority, a public housing authority can request Required 1 access to CORI directly from the state. They must have your permission to get your CORI. They can request CORI on all adult household members.

Housing authorities may also obtain criminal history information from sources other than the state including consumer reports and out-of-state criminal record information from local police departments. For more information see: Will a housing authority check criminal records outside of Massachusetts.

What can owners or managers of multi-family subsidized housing request?

If you are applying for subsidized housing that is privately owned, a property manager can request Required 1 access to CORI directly from the state. They must have your permission to get your CORI. Property managers can also get criminal record information through a Consumer Reporting Agency.

If you have a subsidized housing voucher, see What can owners that receive a subsidized housing voucher request?.

What can a private landlord renting market-rate housing request?

If you are rent market-rate housing and it is not subsidized or you do not have a voucher, the landlord can request Standard access to CORI directly from the state. They must have your permission to get your CORI. Private landlords also can get criminal records information through a Consumer Reporting Agency.

Can I see who requested my CORI?

Yes. You may request from the state a list of all individuals or entities that requested your CORI as of May 4, 2012. This is called a “self-audit.”20 You are entitled to free self-audit every 90 days. To get a self-audit form go to the Department of Criminal Justice Information Service’s website.

Endnotes

10. See Department of Criminal Justice Information Services Categories of CORI Access chart at: http://www.mass.gov/eopss/docs/chsb/summary-of-levels-of-cori-access-with-requestor-types-20125.pdf.

11. 803 CMR 2.05(3)(b)(1).

12. 803 CMR 2.05(3)(b)(1)(a). All pending criminal charges including cases continued without a finding of guilt, until they are dismissed.

13. The Department of Criminal Justice Information Services provides juvenile case information when a person younger that 17 was adjudicated as an adult although this should only apply if the juvenile was actually convicted as an adult offender.

14. 803 CMR 2.05(4).

15. This includes cases continued without a finding. 803 CMR 2.05(4)(a)(1).

16. 803 CMR 2.03(2).

17. 24 CFR 5.903(e)(2)(ii) and New England PIH Advisory Letter #12-2.

18. Under 803 CMR 5.04(10, a landlord, property management company or real estate agent may request CORI for an applicant who is applying for market rate housing. 803 CMR 5.02 defines “Market Rate Housing” as “housing for which the landlord or property management company receives a subsidized housing voucher.”  In addition, 803 CMR 5.02 defines “Subsidized Housing” as housing that does not include “market rate housing for which a landlord or property management company receives a subsidized housing voucher.” Under 803 CMR 5.05(4), a property management company (NOTE TO READERS, its does not say landlords) that manages or owns market rate housing shall not use access to CORI pursuant to 803 CMR 2.05(3), which is REQUIRED CORI access, but may access CORI pursuant to 803 CMR 2.05(4), which is STANDARD CORI access.

19. 24 CFR 5.903(e)(2)(ii) and New England PIH Advisory Letter #12-2.

20. 803 CMR 2.04(1).

Produced by Annette Duke, MLRI. Reviewers Linda Garcia and Mac McCreight, GBLS.
Last Updated November 2012