AM New York Tenant housing court history could become a protected class under city bill by By Sarina Trangle
In a bid to root out so-called tenant blacklisting, the city may expand its list of protected classes to include people who have been involved in housing court cases.
At a hearing Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration indicated it supported a bill that would empower the city's Commission on Human Rights to investigate when New Yorkers believe a landlord opted not to rent to them because of their history in housing court.
Earlier this summer, the state banned this practice, often referred to as tenant blacklisting. Lawyers who represent renters have long spoken out against owners that reject anyone included in databases of people who have been involved in any housing court action — even in cases that tenants win — over the past seven years.
The state's prohibition, however, exclusively tasks the attorney general with enforcement and does not allow renters to take owners to court with their own attorneys.