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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    10

    Default When May a Landlord Deny a Tenant's Application to Rent Due to Criminal History

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: NY

    I had people coming in to see my rental apartment, a xxxxx (color don't matter) couple seems very nice, I told them the build is of majority xxxxx (the opposite color) people, but they are all nice. At the end I picked them, and proceeded to the background check part. Which I found that the guy was arrested 2 times for minor offenses, then I asked my police friend to check on him, and find out he has another 8 arrests also for minor offenses. The police friend's words were not official, and he is not supposed to do a check, he just do me a favor, so I am not going to say anything outside of this forum. But I don't want to take a guy who has been arrested 10 times before.

    Now if I deny this couple (nothing was signed), am I going to be in trouble? What would be a nice way to say no to them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    8,006

    Default Re: Deny Application of Criminal History

    If color doesn't matter, why bring it up?

    If they are minor offenses, why deny them? Were any related to the place they were living at the time?

    Is their credit good? Did they get good references from prior landlords?

    If you deny them for this and get sued, your police friend could wind up in hot water when his/her involvement comes out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Deny Application of Criminal History

    1 or 2 arrests, I'm ok, but 10.... means it will be 11th and 12th....
    I'm not going mention my police friend. Just can I deny someone because he was arrested before? I actually not too worry about being sued for 'color issue', I have other tenants of different skin color.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    8,006

    Default Re: Deny Application of Criminal History

    Quote Quoting Lokie
    View Post
    1 or 2 arrests, I'm ok, but 10.... means it will be 11th and 12th....
    No, it doesn't. When was the most recent arrest? I'm guessing since only 2 showed on your official background check, they aren't all exactly new. How many actual convictions were there?

    Quote Quoting Lokie
    View Post
    I'm not going mention my police friend.
    If you get sued and the issue of the background check comes up, you may not have a choice.

    Quote Quoting Lokie
    View Post
    Just can I deny someone because he was arrested before?
    For arrests alone, HUD's guidance says No.

    Quote Quoting Lokie
    View Post
    I actually not too worry about being sued for 'color issue', I have other tenants of different skin color.
    Then WHY did you bring it into this conversation?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Deny Application of Criminal History

    for living 10 more years than the guy, I received 0 arrests, I really don't understand the criminal world, and don't want to get involve. Convicted or not? Does it matter? Like I said 1 or 2, you can blame the police, 10....who can you blame?
    ok forget about the color issue, I bought it up only because people like to sue other because they have different skin color, regardless of the root of the cause.

    free9man, if that was your property, would you rent it to this couple? I'm sorry to say, fxxk HUD's guidance.

    make the question like this: I change my mind and don't want to rent my apartment to this couple, what can I do?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,026

    Default Re: Deny Application of Criminal History

    Much of this MIGHT depend on what these arrests were for (just as an aside I would not take an applicant who had been arrested 10 times for..whatever)).

    Gail

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: Deny Application of Criminal History

    My friend, the minute you raised the issue of color, whatever your reason might have been, you assured that if you did not rent to these people you would be sued. EVEN IF your reason for not renting to them is not the color issue, by even MENTIONING it, you made it about color.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    8,006

    Default Re: Deny Application of Criminal History

    Without knowing the nature of the charges, the age of them and whether there are convictions, I can't say if I would or not. I'm not going to dismiss someone out of hand simply because they have made mistakes, especially if their credit is good and they have good prior LL references.

    I'm not sure there is a way for you out of it if you're already told them they've been accepted. If you say something came up in their background, they are going to ask what. Depending on how you handle it, that could blow up in your face and you get sued. If you don't offer them a reason, they will have no idea and may jump to it being about race. Then it blows up in your face and you get sued.

    The way I see it, you are stuck. You should go ahead and let them stay, they may be the best tenants you ever have. They may not. Don't go hunting for reasons to evict either. Because unless you watch every single tenant with the same level of intensity as them, they may assume it's because of race. Then it blows up in your face and you get sued.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Deny Application of Criminal History

    I was talking with some wise friends, and decision is made.
    Logic is, make up a reason to deny them in a nice way (I'll say the guy's credit score is not good, even though at the beginning I knew it and I said it doesn't matter because the girl has good credit), 1st. there is a good chance they will not sue me, 2nd. if they sue me, I still have good chance to win, 3rd even if I lose, cost should not be big compare to having a bad tenant.

    It's better than renting to people with history, that you know one day they are going to get in trouble. I know we should give chances to people who made mistakes, but not at my cost! NYC is stupid, very protective to tenants, they fxxk landlords, hard and deep in the s. A simple non-payment case will take 6 months, then the a hole tenant will break your water line or electric box and then sue the landlord. Cost is tremendous, it could be 6 months - 1 year with no rent, and you will still have to pay for the mortgage. The bank will not forgive me, the state will not say oh your tenant is not paying you so we don't charge you property tax. It is not my fault to be protective to myself, its the city's fault.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    8,006

    Default Re: Deny Application of Criminal History

    You're in NYC? I seriously recommend you consult your attorney before doing something stupid.

    If you have already told them that they are fine, having known their credit situation, and now say no it's not acceptable; it reeks of a pretense for unlawful discrimination. You are going to get sued.

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