A Blacklist for Renters

08turf.1.184Landlords learn a trick from credit card world: check the housing report first. Reported today in The Times, landlords in New York and around the country are denying renters apartments on the basis of thier previous rental history. Where is this history coming from? From a number of new companies that make it their business to scour court and housing documents for any signs of conflict. The couple on the right were denied an apartment in Park Slope, because he had a bad record. What did they do? Six years earlier he had compained that the roof was leaking, wasn’t being fixed and withheld two months rent until it was fixed. The landlord filed a suit against him, but then dropped it, allowing him to keep part of the rent. Nevertheless, he and his girlfriend were denied the apartment they had spent a long time looking for. Says Andrew Heiberger, president of Citi Habitats, a Manhattan brokerage firm, “The No. 1 killer of deals is if you’ve had a prior problem with a landlord.” He added, “It’s the single worst blemish you can have on your credit.” Watch out! Just as with credit reports, you can find yours out and fix any problems by contacting the companies. We have listed the biggest ones below. MGR

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