Proposed NYC Bill Prohibits Landlords from Conducting Background Checks


A proposed bill prohibiting New York City landlords from conducting criminal background checks on prospective tenants appears to be on track to become law.

The “Fair Chance for Housing Act,” or Intro. 632, has the support of at least 30 of the 51 city council members, while Mayor Eric Adams (D) has signaled a willingness to sign the bill.

“No one should be denied housing because they were once engaged with the criminal justice system, plain and simple,” said Adam’s spokesman Charles Lutvack via the New York Post. “We will work closely with our partners in the City Council to ensure this bill has maximum intended impact.”

According to a summary of Intro. 632, the “bill would prohibit housing discrimination in rentals, sales, leases, subleases, or occupancy agreements in New York City, on the basis of arrest record or criminal history.”

“Landlords, owners, agents, employees, and real estate brokers would be prohibited from obtaining criminal record information at any stage in the process,” the summary adds.

The bill was introduced by Councilman Keith Powers (D-Manhattan) and cosponsored by Speaker Adrienne Adams.

A similar version of this bill was proposed in 2020 but ultimately did not pass after it received backlash from landlord advocacy groups. The Post noted that the legislation is gaining support this time around due to newly elected council members.

Similar to the previous version of the bill, the current version is receiving fierce opposition from critics who say it protects criminals instead of law-abiding landowners.... (Read more)

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