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Re: rental applic - what can be asked: almost anything

Posted by Jane on December 24, 2000 at 19:26:20:

In Reply to: rental applic - what can be asked posted by Annamae on December 24, 2000 at 10:33:07:

: Wondering if any of this is too invasive for a rental APPLICATION (that is BEFORE tenant/landlord relationship is actually formed). Don't read between the lines, I'm neither a tenant nor a landlord, nor do I represent either.

: State Driver's License ID No.

This is a public record: if you don't provide it, they can get it themselves at DMV.

: Social Security Number

I object here too, but: they need it to do a Credit Check.

: Marital status
: Children, how many, and ages

It is illegal (Fed and/or state) to discriminate due to one or both of these.
Sorry: don't have a reference for you: try the ADA website.

: Employer
: Employer's address
: Supervisor's name and phone number
: Your annual income
: Same employer info for spouse, if any

As you said, most employers won't confirm more than the fact that you do work there, and maybe for how long. Your landlord will likely as for your W-2 to confirm you salary. The landlord wants this information if he discriminates against all non-working people (not illegal). That is: he won't rent if welfare, SSI, SSD, pensions, etc. are your income source.

: Bank name
: Bank phone number

: To summarize, where is the balance between the landlord's need for info and a tenant's right to privacy? The balance between landlord's rights and tenant's rights? Etc?

Neither has any 'rights' in the application process, except those in the anti-discrimination laws.
In a landlords' market, like we have now in NYC, if the prospective tenant refuses to answer or her answer is not up to his standards, she loses the apartment/house. As long as when he refuses to rent to you he gives no reason at all or a reason that is not specifically in violation of some discrimination law, he can do whatever.

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