Here at Employment Screening Services, we provide background checks for property owners and landlords. Many property owners who rent out living space to individuals prefer to have a deep understanding of the person’s criminal history so that they can have peace of mind to know their property will be taken care of. If you are a property owner or landlord who routinely background checks their potential tenants, this article is for you.
NYC Council Seeking Bill to Stop Background Checks on Tenants
Big cities like New York City have a lot of apartment buildings and multi-level housing. Last week landlord groups were seeking support when faced with the cold reality that crimes that were previously allowed to be on a background check on a prospective tenant may not be possible if this bill goes through.
“Murder, assault, battery, drug dealing, gun-running, sex crimes,” said Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association.
2.6 Million Tenants Affected
We use this blog as a means of demonstrating how important background screening is to the backbones of our society. It isn’t something that comes to the top of your mind when you’re considering what helps the world work better or safer, but stories like this help show the magnitude of how many people are affected by these types of checks.
According to CBS, this bill would affect an estimated 2.6 million tenants of coops, condos, and rent-stabilized buildings in the five boroughs.
2.6 million people will no longer be able to rest assured that the people who they will see in and around their homes have been checked for their safety.
Why the Change in Background Checks for Tenants?
When you think about the mass amount of individuals who will have their peace of mind affected by a bill like this, it begs the question… WHY?
According to Councilman Stephen Levin, the bill will allow individuals without rights to safe and stable housing with a new opportunity.
“Safe and stable housing is a right every New Yorker deserves, yet conviction records continue to be used to punish and discriminate against people long after they have left the criminal legal system,” Levin said in a statement. “Removing restrictive barriers would increase access to housing for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and make it possible for people to restart their lives.”
New York Sex Offender Registry Background Check Still Permitted
The new bill would not prohibit inquiries into the New York sex offender registry but requires the landlord to provide the tenant with written notice about the inquiry. The tenant also receives 3 days to withdraw the application. Applicants are able to dispute an adverse action based on criminal history.
We will keep you up to date on any changes that occur for background checks for property owners. New York City could be the first of many cities to start to adapt background screening processes. We will continue to monitor and keep you informed here on the blog. If you are a property owner or landlord and have a question about your background screening policy, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can help you with any questions you may have regarding tenant background checks.