The Real Deal New York

Landlords find way to view tenant blacklist

Tenants that are blacklisted will find it difficult to rent no matter their financial circumstances
May 08, 2014 04:50PM

Even if your credit score is immaculate and your income is through the roof, finding an apartment could be impossible if you’ve ever been on the wrong side of Housing Court.

Tenants who have been sued in Housing Court can be added to a “blacklist,” Which The Court sells to tenant screening companies, according to WNYC. The blacklist is then used by landlords and management companies to screen tenants.

Companies pay the court a $20,000 fee and $350 weekly to get daily updates.

“There are many reasons that tenants get sued in New York that have nothing to do with whether they are good tenants or not,” Fishman said. “In fact, a lot of the reasons have to do with whether they have a bad landlord or not.”

But landlords and brokers argue that the list helps them avoid renting to deadbeats.

“There are professional tenants out there who over the years go from building to building, apartment to apartment, and skip out on the rent,” Frank Ricci, director of government affairs at the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents landlords, told WNYC.

Since 2012, Housing Court has stopped selling names to screening companies – such as CoreLogic SafeRent and TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions — but they continue to Sell Index Numbers For Court cases. However, it is still possible to match index numbers to the tenants’ names. [WNYC]Christopher Cameron