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What is tenant blacklisting in New York?

The New York State Office of Court Administration, also known as OCA, keeps track of tenants who have been involved in Housing Court for nonpayment proceedings. There is a document containing a list of tenants on the list, which is called the tenant blacklist. Finding yourself on this list could lead to serious ramifications when trying to find a new home.

Eviction cases are brought to New York City Housing Court to be sold to tenant screening bureaus. These organizations are used by a landlord to keep track and monitor "deadbeat" tenants, or those who could be problematic for the landlord. The problem is, however, that much of the information in these documents do not tell the whole story.

The document includes basic relevant information such as the type of case, the value of the suit and the index number as well as the final judgement, settlement and whether a warrant of eviction was issued. The problem is that tenants are blacklisted regardless of the specifics or outcome of the case. It is not uncommon for reports on the tenant screening bureaus to be incomplete, inaccurate or misleading. As you can see, just being involved in a case could mean that you get on this tenant blacklist, no matter whether you deserve to be listed or not.

If you believe you have been the victim of tenant blacklisting or have a different landlord/tenant dispute that could eventually lead to a lawsuit against you, it might be in your best interests to speak with a lawyer to learn how to proceed to protect your reputation and your future. Trying to obtain a new place to live while having a dark cloud looming over you could make things difficult.

Source: New York State Bar Association, "The Use of Tenant Screening Reports and Tenant Blacklisting," Accessed on July 17, 2017

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