New York City wants landlords to rent rooms without knowing a person’s criminal background. It sounds okay in theory, but what happens in the real world?
The video is very balanced. If nothing else, check out the comments below, and tell us what you think.
The comment section was very interesting. Here is just a sampling.
As one with family members who are criminals, i can say every one of them just wants to be a criminal.
I had a neighbor moved into an apartment in my building. Criminal record for abduction and drugs. Whilst he was there he was dealing, communal bits were damaged, vandalised and stolen. He was then put away for a while for kicking a puppy to death. The council kept his tenancy open and he moved back in after release. Drug dealing continued, all sorts coming in. Then one day he fled, leaving his pot plants and samurai swords in the reception. Next I saw he got 14 years for the rape and false imprisonment of a vulnerable young woman in her own home. I know where I stand on this issue.
My Dad once rented a room out to a woman who had a criminal past because he wanted to help her out and give her a second chance. This woman used to bring all kinds of questionable characters into our house, and one day, a fight broke out between two men in her room; one man stabbed the other in the back with a kitchen knife. If this law passes, NYC will become even more dangerous to live in; this is the worst way to handle the homeless crisis.
I know someone who owns a six family home in Williamsburg. He has chosen to keep 5 of those apartments empty because of past awful tenants. After spending thousands of dollars fixing damages and being scammed out of thousands of dollars in rent, he took his building off the market. This program is the cities way of pushing real problems behind closed doors so that they can claim that they’ve solved the problem. Two of the biggest reasons crime continues are substance abuse and mental illness. Until these issues are addressed in a real way, crime will continue. The cities fix is basically out of sight out of mind. This will not actually help anyone long term.
If the city wants to make it easier for criminals to get housing, why not start halfway housing programs? 1. Only take ex cons. 2. Have several rules in the housing. 3. Have cameras and drug testing. 4. Have contact with parole officers. 5. Provide references to other housing based on behavior of tenants.
If its legal to run backgroun checks for a job, then its legal for to run it before moving someone into your property. doing it for one can’t be discrimation while the other is okay.
I was a landlord in Florida for 25 years and I have had my fair share of bad tenants. If I was not allowed to do a background check then I would not use a rental agency and rent the apartment out myself. I would use word of mouth to get excellent tenants and even charge a few hundred less if I knew they were going to be good renters. In the long run this new law will only make it more difficult for potential renters to find apartments because landlords will find a way to work around it.
This is disgusting. If I am looking at renting a place, I want them to do a background check on me and everyone else. If you have a criminal record, especially one involving violence or harm to others, it’s perfectly sensible that almost nobody wants you as their neighbor.
How can you imagine background checks for asylum seekers? Yesterday they got schools, tomorrow they will get apartments (with vouchers) “The White House says funding is available for the NYC to provide housing for eligible asylum seekers families, which includes up to 14,000 vouchers”. CBS News, August 31, 2023
Glad to hear the application fee for rentals is now null. Back in the early 1990s, there was an apartment rental agency (and I’m sure they weren’t the only ones) in the Lower East Side who would advertise apartments at great rates. The catch was the $75 application / credit check fee. I recall looking at one amazing place and was ready to apply when I saw a person in line ahead of me submit their application and it was put on top of a 1.5 foot high stack of other applications for the very same apartment. I went back into the building and hung out in the hallways until I bumped into residents coming/going. I asked them if they knew how long the apartment had been vacant and they said over 2 years. The agency had no intention of renting it out; they made more money collecting application fees on it.
Imagine how scared people will be. Even if they know they have a serial killer living in their building and they can’t do anything about it LEGALLY. It’s screw up when the law protects criminals more than it does innocent citizens.
In my search to purchase an apartment in NYC I’m starting to learn exactly how crazy it is. Even if you have perfect credit, and pass all the background checks you still have to meet with and be approved by the HOA board. So just because you can buy an apartment in the city doesn’t mean you will.
We have a ex-convict now living in our building. He has been a NIGHTMARE since day one. Do not let this happen to you. Fight for the sanity and safety of your family.
I live in NYC. I pay a lot of rent. I don’t want a neighbor who’s a convicted criminal living next door to me. I shouldn’t have to be afraid everyday in my apartment or be worried they’re going to break-in the second I leave. NYC wants to take away my rights. So, they can give rights to the criminals. That’s absurd.
I can tell you the worst part isn’t taking a gamble on whether a tenant is good or not. The worst part is the only recourse for landlords when dealing with a bad tenant is the court system and it is currently a broken joke. Hell, even NYPD will not get involved if the incident is a “civil matter” that they think should be resolved in court. And we’re talking years of delay and absurd costs that will never be recouped from people who potentially do nothing but take advantage of society.
That’s a terrible idea. Landlords need to have tools/options for preventing criminal activity on their property and renters need to feel safe.
My favorite economics professor in college used to have two sayings that have really stuck with me – “It was a beautiful theory mugged by an ugly gang of facts.” and “It’s never a gift. It’s always a shift.”. Both of them seem applicable to this empty headed idea.
As a private landlord who self-manages my properties, the thought of non profits and watch dog groups wasting my time and tax money to try and catch me doing something they don’t like pisses me off! I treat all applicants the same and anyone who’s rejected gets the same reason; ‘it’s been rented’. The way it’s going, I imagine landlords will stop advertising vacancies conventionally and will get their qualified tenants through word of mouth.