New York City Councilman Stephen Levin, with 18 cosponsors, has introduced a bill to ban landlords from running criminal background checks on potential tenants because it prevents formerly incarcerated individuals from securing stable housing. The proposed legislation applies to most rentals, leases, sublets, or any occupancy agreements. The main exception to the proposed regulation is if someone is renting out a space in the residence where their family also lives.
The bill, which would not supersede existing legislation on sex offender registration or regulations governing renting to those convicted of drug production, is being opposed by landlord groups including the Real Estate Board of New York and the Rent Stabilization Association, the latter of which has said the proposal puts other tenants’ safety at risk and is too vague in its current iteration. FULL ARTICLE