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Old 07-07-2010, 10:01 PM
 
30 posts, read 97,443 times
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A quick question about the legalities of whether I need to tell any potential brokers/landlords etc that I am a single mom..

I have been trying for a few months now to find an apt in NY to move in August. I'm coming from overseas, which complicates the issue, but it seems like every time I'm interested in an apt, and submit an application, suddenly all doors are closed when I put my son's name down as an occupant of the apartment. I'll be a a full time student, so my parents are acting as guarantors. They have secure, well paid jobs - earn easily enough to cover the guarantor requirements. I can only assume that it's because I'm a single mom that my applications keep getting knocked back at the last minute.. so now I'm thinking: do I have to tell them??

I've read that tenants are allowed to have their immediate family members live in the apt without prior approval from the landlord (unlike strangers, where a sublet arrangement would be necessary). So, if I put in an application without mentioning my son, and then we both moved in, what would my position be?

Thanks for your help and advice!
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:25 PM
 
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Why would you assume that it's your son's name that's throwing things off? It seems to me that the application might be the first time they see your financial situation, which, in NYC apt. search terms, is not good (since you mention "guarantors.")

In NYC, usually a guarantor is someone who lives in the tri-state area (Connecticut and NJ are the other two states) and makes 80x to 100x the monthly rent. If your parents do not live in tri-state, they cannot be guarantors. The reason for this is that the landlord wants to be able to go after the guarantor in court to get his money back if you default on your rent. Landlord cannot sue your parents for your rent money if they live in Europe, and even perhaps if they live in the US outside the NY area.

Also, landlords here can be sticklers for credit history and credit reports, scores, etc. If you live overseas, then perhaps you don't have a US credit score? Don't know enough about this to comment further.

But I just don't see where you are getting the idea that it's all about parental discrimination unless they know every single other detail about you except that one before you complete the application.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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OK, I get your point, but I have offered to pay the full 12 months rent up front upon signing the lease, (so the guarantor issue is not even really applicable!) and things have seemed positive until they realise that I'm a single mom.

Legally, do I have to tell them? Can they legally kick me out if I don't tell them, and then move in with my son?
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:37 PM
 
10,605 posts, read 20,739,640 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zemirah View Post
OK, I get your point, but I have offered to pay the full 12 months rent up front upon signing the lease, (so the guarantor issue is not even really applicable!) and things have seemed positive until they realise that I'm a single mom.

Legally, do I have to tell them? Can they legally kick me out if I don't tell them, and then move in with my son?
Honestly, I don't know. I was just trying to make you aware that there may be other issues that are flagged for them on your application. I don't think it's legal to discriminate on the child issue, but that doesn't mean people aren't doing it.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,141 posts, read 2,783,818 times
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Quote:
Do I have to tell a potential landlord that I'm a single mom?
No.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorofnyc View Post
No.
Is that your final answer mayor?
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:46 AM
 
461 posts, read 1,765,893 times
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Well normally when you fill out the rental application, somewhere in the form it will ask you to list and name ALL the occupants who will be living with you. If you leave out anyone and then the Landlord discovers you lied and have occupants that were not listed and registered on the rental application and lease then usually the landlord can terminate the lease. I have a clause in my lease that pretty much states that if any information on the application is later to be discovered as wrong, I have the right to terminate the lease.
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:29 AM
 
1,586 posts, read 2,421,585 times
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I would think that landlords would jumping at the chance to sign you up seeing as how you're able and willing to pay the full year up front.

Which brings me to a question of my own; why is it such a royal pain to get an apartment in NYC? I don't post in the NY forums much (well... ever actually) but I pop in every now and then to check up on America's premier city and every time I do, there's a thread detailing about landlord woes from a current or prospective tenant. Based off of what I read, it seems like unless you're pretty much the perfect human being who makes a lot of money, you're out on your ass when It comes to renting in most places. Go out and have fun at bars or clubs much? Denied. Have two jobs? Denied. Need a guarantor? Well that's fine... oh he lives in Illinois? Sorry, denied. Apartment hunting from out of state? Denied. Have kids? Denied.

What's the deal? Here in ATL the process of renting an apartment is as follows:
-Fill out the application
-background check (to make sure you don't have a criminal history)
-provide proof of income
-if you make less than 3X the monthly rent then get a cosigner (who can be out of state)
-fill out and sign lease/paperwork.
-pay the security deposit and first months rent.
-move in.

Landlords don't walk all over you in all the states I've ever lived in. Are these issues of landlords/tenants in NY just exaggerated here on CD? Are these issues the exception and not the norm? I've tossed around the idea of moving to New York more than once and I would like to find out myself because I hate apartment hunting anyway... let alone apartment hunting in NYC.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:24 AM
grant516
 
n/a posts
Adric- you left out the part in New York where YOU pay the landlord or a broker a month or so rent just to show you a place. haha. crazy gig.

The only answers I can give as to why they're so crazy and strict-

#1- A lot of people move to NYC thinking it's going to be something that it turns out not to be, can't afford it and need to bail which costs the landlord some serious money.

and.. #2- Because once someone is in an apartment in NYC, the landlord can be stuck with them for a LONG LONG LONG time- as a Landlord cannot choose to avoid renewing a lease.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:47 AM
 
982 posts, read 3,844,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victorfox View Post
Well normally when you fill out the rental application, somewhere in the form it will ask you to list and name ALL the occupants who will be living with you. If you leave out anyone and then the Landlord discovers you lied and have occupants that were not listed and registered on the rental application and lease then usually the landlord can terminate the lease. I have a clause in my lease that pretty much states that if any information on the application is later to be discovered as wrong, I have the right to terminate the lease.
It's you again victorfox. Sorry, I have to agree with mayorofnyc. Unnecessary. But just for fun, your clause is not enforceable, let's think of a work around that satisfies legally your requirement. How about I put my baby in a locker at the Port Authority at 4 pm and run up to the Bronx and you give me the keys just before you drive away in your Buick. You and the super watch me move my boxes and Ikea furniture in and I go out for Chinese have a couple of drinks, go back to the apartment and see if the cable is working. Long about 11 pm I jump on the D train and head downtown to 42nd street, pick the baby up and head back home arriving at 12:01 am the next day. I now have 30 days to tell you my baby showed up unexpectedly or I could simply not do anything until you come snooping around and get a whiff of the diaper pail.
What would you do victorfox, what would you do???
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