Sale of legal eviction info puts tenant rights in jeopardy

November 02, 2011 06:17PM

The New York State Office of Court Administration legally sells the names of everyone who is sued over eviction in Housing Court to private companies, which then compile the information and sell it to landlords looking to avoid renting to troublesome tenants, the New York Times reported. But there is one key problem with the information; it does not include whether or not a tenant was evicted after the case was tried.

The omission of who won or lost the case has a damaging affect on tenants, who often decide to move out rather than face landlords in court and have their names blacklisted.

“I don’t have a problem with providing more information as to the disposition of a case,” said Joseph Strasburg, the president of the Rent Stabilization Association, noting that it would make sense to include whether a tenant won or lost in the case. “I do have a problem with precluding using it as a tool.”

The names of tenants involved in legal disputes with landlords are sold with other Housing Court information for $20,000 for the first download and $350 for weekly updates, the Times said. [NYT]