New York City Sues Landlords Who Refuse Government Vouchers

11 Replies

This is crazy . I didn’t realize that NYC landlords that own buildings over 6 units are forced to accept government vouchers . Kind of scary to see government have so much control over private property . Also makes me wonder if similar policies might be coming to other cities. — For the past four years, New York City has tried to persuade landlords and real estate brokers to rent apartments to low-income people and homeless people with bonuses and pledges that rent would be guaranteed with government vouchers. The incentives have helped thousands of people move into permanent housing throughout the city. But some landlords have still refused to accept vouchers, city officials said, which is against the law for buildings with six apartments or more. Last year, the city created a unit to combat such violations, and on Wednesday, the unit took its first legal action, filing lawsuits against the manager of Seaview Estates, a complex on Staten Island, and a real estate broker who rented apartments in two Bronx buildings. https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/06/20/nyregion/nyc-government-vouchers-lawsuit.html

As long as you do not have a policy of not accepting vouchers you can still reject any applicant that does not otherwise qualify.

It is only arrogant landlords that choose to not operate under the radar that will be penalised. As long as they continue to flaunt their dislike of government interferace they will be targeted.

@Joshua Diaz yeah I could see that landlords would put up with it as property prices have appreciated along with rents . Although there is strong rent control I’m guessing they can rent at market rents once the tenants eventually move out .

Of course appreciation has been amazing in NYC too historically.

@Thomas S. True , people have to follow the laws and rules of the city . Otherwise they should sell their property and invest in another city . It is dumb to advertise they don’t accept vouchers if it’s the law to accept them .
Guess I was kind of surprised in a way that NYC had that law in the first place because I haven’t heard of it in any other city .
For example in L.A there is rent control but landlords don’t have to accept section 8 vouchers .

You have to accept in Illinois (or at least in Chicago) as well. It really shouldn't be a problem though, just put everyone through the same screening process and it won't really matter. if you get a qualified HCV recipient, great! you filled a vacancy with a good tenant.
Originally posted by @Joseph M. :
This is crazy . I didn’t realize that NYC landlords that own buildings over 6 units are forced to accept government vouchers . Kind of scary to see government have so much control over private property . Also makes me wonder if similar policies might be coming to other cities.

— For the past four years, New York City has tried to persuade landlords and real estate brokers to rent apartments to low-income people and homeless people with bonuses and pledges that rent would be guaranteed with government vouchers.

The incentives have helped thousands of people move into permanent housing throughout the city. But some landlords have still refused to accept vouchers, city officials said, which is against the law for buildings with six apartments or more.

Last year, the city created a unit to combat such violations, and on Wednesday, the unit took its first legal action, filing lawsuits against the manager of Seaview Estates, a complex on Staten Island, and a real estate broker who rented apartments in two Bronx buildings.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/06/20/nyregion/nyc-government-vouchers-lawsuit.html

 Here in Chicago, denying a tenant based on a voucher is a fair housing violations because it s a protected class.  So you can't outright refuse to accept vouchers.  You can still set credit and income requirements, and as long as you can demonstrate that is your policy then you are not in violation if you deny an applicant with a voucher.  

Originally posted by @Jeremy Marek :
You have to accept in Illinois (or at least in Chicago) as well. It really shouldn't be a problem though, just put everyone through the same screening process and it won't really matter. if you get a qualified HCV recipient, great! you filled a vacancy with a good tenant.

 I'm pretty sure its a Cook County law.  I agree with your thought process.  

Originally posted by @Thomas S. :

In the real world when landlords set high enough screening standards, esspically minimum credit scores, no applicant on any form of government assistance would ever qualify.

 Not completely accurate in the real world. 

Liberal cities like NYC and Chicago suffer this nonsense. You shouldn’t be forced to accept vouchers or other government programs. Just my opinion. Luckily being a landlord in NYC and in the suburbs I haven’t had to deal with working around that. Just lucked out that way. Looking to invest in Chicago soon so fingers crossed. 

What’s the real concern here? If you’re acquiring a tenant that shows self efficiency and are respectful of the property and neighbors why does it matter that the government is cutting the check? IMO generalizing a group of people based on their social status equates to housing discrimination. Should you do your due diligence? Should you check work history, walk through current apartment, talk to current land lord? Absolutely, but don’t rule them out just because they have government assistance.