Unless you’re looking to live in a senior community or housing facility, the Fair Housing Act protects renters from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, or sex. It also says that landlords cannot discriminate based on familial status, which is why the U.S. government is now suing a Seattle property owner accused of refusing to rent to family with children. [More]
In cities where housing is in short supply like New York and San Francisco, permanent residents are understandably upset when their landlords boot them out to use their apartments as mini-hotels. To prove that this is happening, ousted tenants are turning to private detectives who monitor their former apartments as if they were cheating spouses. [More]
Tenants of homes owned by a pair of St. Louis landlords say the weren’t just subjected to inappropriate sexual comments, but that one landlord also offered to look the other way on the rent if tenants would sleep with him. When the renters refused these advances, they claim the landlords tried to throw them out on the streets. [More]
The landlord in East Harlem in New York City wanted the last rent-stabilized tenants out. The rest of the building was being renovated to attract market-rate tenants, but the family with five kids just wouldn’t leave, even after the five other households in the building did. Now the landlord has been arrested and accused of harassing the family and endangering their children. [More]
While federal law explicitly prohibits the consideration of “race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin” in determining who can rent or buy a home, some Americans still face this illegal discrimination for something as simple as finding a place to live. [More]
Though there are surely tenants out there renting their apartments out on Airbnb without their landlord’s blessing, the short-term rental site wants to get on the good side of apartment owners around the country. To that end, it’s reaching out to a few large companies with a lot of properties to see if all sides can work out something beneficial to all involved. [More]
A San Francisco man who fancied himself a landlord and building manager — but who apparently failed to do more than just collect rent that he didn’t always pay up the ladder — has been ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to tenants who paid exorbitant sums to live in “squalid” conditions with phantom appliances, exposed wiring, and rodents run amok. [More]
Carrying around a checkbook all of the time seems outdated even by the standards of America’s grandmas. Why is it, then, that 70% of people who rent their homes write a check every month to pay the bill? That trend is changing, but very slowly. [More]
There are few types of people on this planet more worthy of scorn than landlords who make life miserable — whether through threats, ignored repairs, or harassing letters and calls — for the tenants who pay them money every month. Just ask the many renters of New York City apartments whose landlords treat them poorly in the hopes that they will move out and be replaced by new tenants willing to pay higher rents. But the NYC City Council has passed a new bill that not only doubles the penalties for these scumbags, but publishes their names on a city website. [More]
A lot of apartment buildings in pricey cities have strict income and credit requirements for potential tenants, but once you’ve got the apartment all that generally matters is that you pay your rent on time and in full. The landlord of one building in San Francisco recently posted a letter telling current tenants that they will have to be re-screened to make sure they are earning at least $100,000 a year and have sterling credit. [More]
The couple who took over ownership of a San Francisco apartment building in 2006 wanted their tenants out. That can be very inconvenient for the tenants, but it happens. The tactics they used during their two-year reign of tenant terror were unusual, ranging from stealing and trashing tenants’ belongings to cutting floorboards, setting fires, and forging e-mailed death threats from tenants to their own attorneys. [More]
As you may have noticed, the price of stamps went up last week by an entire penny. Overall, the nation seems to be coping pretty well, unless they’re small businesses who have a lot of overseas customers. (Air mail prices went up, too. A lot.) One entity that isn’t coping well is reader Layla’s apartment complex. They’ve raised everyone’s rent one penny to compensate for the postage change, and chose to notify everyone by… delivering a letter to their doors. [More]
Remember the days of Three’s Company, when the only way a man could convince the landlord to let him stay in an apartment with two single women was by pretending to be gay? Even when I first moved to New York in the mid-’90s, more than a few landlords told me I could only have male roommates and that female overnight guests were frowned upon. But times are changing and most people just expect their landlord to butt out, so long as they aren’t knocking down walls or installing hot tubs in the bathroom. But there are still some people out there that don’t want any unwed hanky-panky going on under their roof.
The residents of a South Florida apartment complex could be on the street soon — not because they failed to pay their rent or utility bills, but because their landlord has allegedly run up a $14,000 water and sewer tab and won’t pay up.
Tom and his wife are facing a scary proposition: termites. In their home. They’re renters, so they called the landlords. That’s why people rent, right? So they have landlords who will take care of this stuff. And their landlords are happy to take care of it: by calling in exterminators to tent the house and kill any pests inside. That’s okay, but requires vacating the house for a few days. Tom and Mrs. Tom don’t have the money to cover a motel stay up front for the time they’ll be required to be out of the house. Sure, they could sleep in their car and hang out at the library or something when they’re not at work, but they have dogs. And they live in Florida. It’s August. Even the cheapest motels that allow dogs are too expensive. What should they do?
In an earlier lifetime, I briefly lived with 10 other people in a 6-bedroom apartment in Manhattan that had illegally been converted from a 3-bedroom. It was hellish and not long after I departed, the remaining roommates all sued each other. But that’s nothing compared to the mess created by one L.A. landlord who is alleged to have carved up a 3-apartment triplex into 44 separate units.
A 29-year-old Massachusetts veteran who served multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan says it’s that very service that kept him from renting an apartment. He’s now suing the landlord, claiming she discriminated against him because of his military experience when she turned him down.
There are a number of things that new tenants usually discover soon after signing a lease — pipes that leak, mice in the walls, noisy neighbors, angry ghosts that haunt the premises. A family in New Jersey is suing their landlord over one of these reasons… take a guess which one it is.