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A new class for discrimination is being created. Right or Wrong? - Zona Properties, Inc.

Several new bits of legislation in New York have been or are being voted on in the near future. One is making it illegal for a landlord to refuse housing to a prospective tenant based on source of income. Many times in the past some landlords refused to accept a tenant receiving Social Services or Section 8 assistance. The reasons have been varied but in talking with property owners the reasons are related mostly to having to deal with rules and regulations and procedures that are required by the government agencies such as property inspections, paperwork, waiting to receive payment, constant turmoil with some tenants regarding recertification and hold up of benefits & rent. This along with the misconception by some landlords that Social Service (in particular) tenants are bad tenants and cause much more damage and loss of rent than working tenants.

In reviewing the thousands of tenants that have come through our company over our many years of management I have found that dealing with agencies is sometimes a hassle, and yes there are sometimes delays in receiving rent and sometimes the inspection process is labored even though it does aid in making sure that the property is maintained by the owner. The conception that tenants on Social Services cause more damage and loss of rent is not necessarily true and the only way to minimize this is by carefully screening of all prospects for rentals.

Monroe County NY, the county that we reside and do business in has already had this law in effect and I guess the only objection that I can muster has to do with basic rights not only of tenants but of landlords. If a property owner has had some or all of the problems I mentioned above and doesn’t want to deal with those problems again (whether true or perceived), is the only way for the government to deal with it is by creating another protected class? I guess I fall into the category, as many other Americans, that sometimes there are too many rules and regulations that seem to bog down the system more than help it.