New York Tenant Screening Laws

Disclosure: There is no statewide statute, but New York City requires a landlord who asks for application information from a tenant to disclose whether or not that information will be used to obtain a tenant screening report. See NYC ADC § 20-808 provided below.

New York City Administrative Code

§ 20-808 Disclosure. a. Any person who requests application information directly from a prospective tenant or tenants or such tenant(s)’ agent or agents shall disclose to the prospective tenant or tenants the following:
(i) either:
(1) that the application information provided by the prospective tenant or tenants may be used to obtain a tenant screening report and the name and address of the consumer reporting agency or agencies which will be used to obtain such report, or
(2) that the application information provided will not be used to obtain a tenant screening report and that the person requesting such information, and his or her agent(s), do not use tenant screening reports to determine a prospective tenant or tenants’ suitability for housing; and
(ii) that pursuant to federal and state law:
(1) if the person requesting the information takes adverse action against a prospective tenant or tenants on the basis of information contained in a tenant screening report, such person must notify the tenant that such action was taken and supply the name and address of the consumer reporting agency that provided the tenant screening report on
the basis of which such action was taken;
(2) any prospective tenant against whom adverse action was taken based on information contained in a tenant screening report has the right to inspect and receive a free copy of such report by contacting the consumer reporting agency;
(3) every tenant or prospective tenant is entitled to one free tenant screening report from each national consumer reporting agency annually, in addition to a credit report that should be obtained from www.annualcreditreport.com ; and
(4) every tenant or prospective tenant may dispute inaccurate or incorrect information contained in a tenant screening report directly with the consumer reporting agency.

b. If application information is requested in writing, the statements required by subdivision a of this section shall be in writing, located immediately adjacent to where personal information is requested, and set off in a box and printed in a color that sharply contrasts with the print surrounding it. If application information is requested orally, the person requesting such information shall provide written copies of the statements required by subdivision a of this section.

Notice: A landlord requesting application information from a prospective tenant shall post a sign in a visible location to tenants at the place where the principal purpose of business relates to the rental of residential properties. The sign shall contain the name and address of all consumer reporting agencies used. See NYC ADC § 20-809(a) provided below.

New York City Administrative Code

§ 20-809 Posting of signs. a. Any person requesting application information from a prospective tenant or tenants shall post a sign, the form and manner of which shall be determined by rule of the commissioner, in any location at which the principal purpose is conducting business transactions pertaining to the rental of residential real estate properties. Such sign shall be posted in a location visible to potential subjects of such reports and shall disclose in conspicuous size type the name and address of all consumer reporting agencies used. Such sign shall also contain a statement that consumers are entitled to one free tenant screening report from each consumer reporting agency
annually and may dispute inaccurate or incorrect information contained in such tenant screening report directly with the consumer reporting agency.

b. A person requesting application information who has the right to rent or lease housing units in one building with five or fewer housing units that is owned and occupied by such person shall not be required to post a sign pursuant to subdivision a of this section in such building.

Violations: A landlord in violation of the disclosure and notice requirements shall be liable for a civil penalty. See NYC ADC § 20-810 provided below.

New York City Administrative Code

§ 20-810 Violations. A person violating sections 20-808 or 20-809 of this subchapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for the first violation. Subsequent violations shall be subject to civil penalties of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than seven hundred dollars for each violation.