New legislation aims to fight tenant 'blacklist' used by NYC landlords

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Some landlords are using a widely circulated "blacklist" to deny prospective tenants an apartment in New York City.

The information comes from housing court cases, but critics say it's woefully incomplete information.

Now there is a proposal to regulate this "blacklist".

"The real estate agent says, 'We would really like to help you but the landlord really is not going to take you,'" said Margot "Lumineer" Miller, a renter.

Miller says she figured she could easily get an apartment because of her solid credit score.

She had no idea a dispute with her landlord put her on what many call the "blacklist": Tenant screening databases that list people who have been sued by landlords.

Some argue it doesn't tell the whole story.

"The ceilings were open the gas lines were cut. I had gas pouring into my apartment. I finally went into a stipulation to give up my apartment because I feared for my safety," Miller said.

Miller's experience shows up as an eviction despite the fact that she says she settled with her landlord.

"A lot of people end up in housing court, as a tenant they're in the right, sometime you withheld rent because the conditions were horrible. Sometimes you have to take your landlord to court, but then you end up on this blacklist you can't rent another apartment," New York City Councilman Ben Kallos said.

Councilman Kallos is pushing for new legislation that would regulate the industry by giving consumers a chance to dispute inaccurate and incomplete reports.

"Right now this blacklist is that this person has been to housing court. Legislation would be that they have to tell you the truth, truth and nothing but the truth, whether or not you won the case so that landlords can make a better decision," Councilman Kallos said.

Miller says she fought this for three long years, she's staying in temporary housing, and all she wants is for landlords to get all the information they need to make a fair decisions.

"This legislation will at least show some transparency as to what is being listed we Will have a way of fighting for our rights," Miller said. null
Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.