senate Bill S3170

Prohibits landlords from charging potential tenants application fees greater than the actual cost of a credit check or other related services paid by the landlord

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 31 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Summary

Allows landlords to charge potential tenants application fees no greater than the actual cost of a credit check or related services paid to a third party by the landlord.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S3170
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Judiciary
Law Section:
Real Property Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง220-a, RP L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S905
2009-2010: S4259C
2007-2008: S4202

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3170

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property law, in relation to
fees landlords may charge tenants

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would allow landlords to
charge potential tenants application fees no greater than the actual
cost of a credit check or the related services paid to a third party by
the landlord.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Subdivision 1 of the bill defines
"application fees", "potential tenants", and "landlords" for the
purposes of the new section. Subdivision 2 would allow a landlord to
charge an application fee equal to the cost of services paid for by the
landlord to a third party. Subdivision 3 would enable a potential tenant
to file a complaint with the division of housing and community renewal.
If the division determines that the landlord has violated this section a
fine of one hundred dollars for a first or second violation may be
imposed and a third or subsequent violation may be subject to a fine of
two hundred fifty dollars.

JUSTIFICATION: This legislation would strike a balance between provid-
ing necessary protection for tenants and enabling landlords to recover
the actual costs involved in researching and verifying the credit histo-
ries of potential tenants. The practice of charging prospective tenants
"application fees" is completely unregulated under present law. As a
result, consumers in tight rental markets throughout New York State have
been forced to pay as much as $150 just to be considered for rental.

This legislation would curb the abuses which regularly take place in the
absence of regulation. Consumer credit reports obtained by TRW and other
reporting agencies vary in price, but can be obtained easily through a
variety of sources for less than $20.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after
it shall have become a law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  3170

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 31, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. KRUEGER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary

AN ACT to amend the real property law, in relation to fees landlords may
  charge tenants

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  The  real property law is amended by adding a new section
220-a to read as follows:
  S 220-A. APPLICATION FEES. 1. WHEREVER USED IN THIS SECTION:
  A. "APPLICATION FEE" MEANS ANY APPLICATION PROCESSING  FEE  OR  CREDIT
CHECK CHARGE OR SIMILAR CHARGE THAT A POTENTIAL TENANT MUST PAY OR IS IN
ANY  WAY  REQUESTED  TO  PAY TO A LANDLORD IN ORDER TO BE CONSIDERED FOR
RENTAL OR LEASE OF ANY REAL PROPERTY OR PORTION THEREOF USED  FOR  RESI-
DENTIAL PURPOSES.
  B.  "POTENTIAL  TENANT" MEANS ANY PERSON WITH AN INTENTION TO LEASE OR
RENT ANY REAL PROPERTY OR  PORTION  THEREOF  FOR  RESIDENTIAL  PURPOSES,
EXCLUDING  POTENTIAL  TENANT  SHAREHOLDERS OF COOPERATIVE HOUSING CORPO-
RATIONS.
  C. "LANDLORD" MEANS ANY OWNER, MANAGING AGENT OR PRIME LESSOR OF  REAL
PROPERTY  OR  ANY  REAL ESTATE BROKER, PROVIDED, THAT THIS SECTION SHALL
NOT LIMIT THE FEE THAT CAN BE LAWFULLY CHARGED BY  SUCH  BROKER  IF  THE
POTENTIAL TENANT ENTERS INTO A LEASE OR OCCUPIES REAL PROPERTY FOR RESI-
DENTIAL PURPOSES AS A RESULT OF THE BROKER'S SERVICES.
  2.  A  LANDLORD MAY CHARGE A POTENTIAL TENANT AN APPLICATION FEE EQUAL
TO THE ACTUAL COST OF A CREDIT CHECK OR OTHER RELATED SERVICES PAID  FOR
BY A LANDLORD TO A THIRD PARTY.
  3.  WHERE  A  LANDLORD  CHARGES  APPLICATION FEES IN VIOLATION OF THIS
SECTION, A POTENTIAL TENANT MAY FILE A COMPLAINT WITH  THE  DIVISION  OF
HOUSING  AND  COMMUNITY  RENEWAL.  UPON A FINDING BY THE DIVISION THAT A
LANDLORD HAS VIOLATED THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION, THE DIVISION SHALL
IMPOSE A FINE OF ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR A FIRST OR SECOND VIOLATION AND

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01790-01-3

S. 3170                             2

A FINE OF TWO HUNDRED FIFTY  DOLLARS  FOR  A  THIRD  OR  ANY  SUBSEQUENT
VIOLATION.
  S  2.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
have become a law.

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