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Old 07-01-2010, 04:51 PM   #21
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I had a law firm that did the corporate gig at the lake during the ski season ... and I am sure some adult beverages were served. They tweaked my 2 page agreement (that's never happened). Then followed EVERY "rule" to the letter of the "law". Left the place emaculate!

Also wrote me a great online review (that helps). I hope they come back.

PS the woman in your story was NOT a lawyer.
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Old 07-01-2010, 06:52 PM   #22
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If you live (as we do) in a state that favors tenants, it typically can take 6 months to get people out. And angry deadbeats like to retaliate, so of course they wreck the place.

So check previous references. If you ask a previous landlord, "Would you rent to them again?" the normal response is "Absolutely!" If you hear the slightest hesitation, or the response is less than enthusiastic, that is a red flag. It often means the landlord didn't care for your applicants, but is uncomfortable saying so, because he/she feels sorry for them or is possibly even afraid of them.

The problem we had this time around, was all our applicants turned out to be homeowners running away from foreclosure. So not only was their credit terrible, they had no previous landlords we could check with.

At any time, we would be glad to rent to a lawyer if his/her finances and references checked out. No offense to lawyers; but we would rent to a Martian whose finances and references checked out.

Incidentally, I agree with Calmloki that you should instantly reject anybody whom you dislike from talking with them on the phone. The trouble is, most people muster all the charm in their being for the initial phone call. I often think that if some people worked as hard at their jobs and relationships, as they do for that first darned call to the landlord, they would be very successful at anything they tried.

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Originally Posted by boont View Post
One of my properties has come up for rental. In reviewing people who have applied to rent, there is a lawyer. I'm thinking I would be foolish to rent to a lawyer.

Does anyone have any experience with this or an opinion?

I have a relative who rented to a woman who's ex was a lawyer. She refused to pay rent and it took six months to get her out. The ex filed multiple suits on her behalf plus she wrecked the place.

boont
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:02 PM   #23
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Yeah, it would be a great case, if it were still the law in New York City, which a long time ago changed its municipal code to prohibit discrimination on the basis of occupation! I remember the above case caused so much angst among the legal profession in NYC that the Bar lobbied for the changes in New York City. Here's a description of the current law from NY City's Rent Guidelines Board:


DISCRIMINATION Landlords may not refuse to rent to, renew the lease of, or otherwise discriminate against, any person or group of persons because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, marital status or familial status. In New York City, tenants are further protected against discrimination with respect to lawful occupation, sexual orientation, partnership status and immigration status. People with AIDS or who are HIV-positive, as well as recovering alcoholics, are also protected from discrimination. Further, NYC landlords are prohibited from discriminating against tenants based on lawful source of income which includes income from social security or any form of federal, state or local public assistance including section 8 vouchers. Executive Law 296(5); NYC Admin. Code 8-107. * * *
A New York Lawyer friend of mine claims that the prohibition on discrimination based on source of income does not apply to discrimination on "licensed profession" I.e. as long as you discriminate against all lawyers, not just because they are paid as a lawyer ,you can satisfy the law. You can read the at
New York City Commission on Human Rights
It does not include profession but only source of income

Interesting question of statutory interpretation
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:00 PM   #24
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Pardon my ignorance - - I'm not a landlord, but I am completely mystified by this thread. Since when can you decide who to rent to? There are laws against discrimination, right? If all else is equal I am surprised that you have any choice in the matter, if the prospective tenant proves he/she will be able to pay the rent.
Apparently everyone approves of discriminating against lawyers... even the judges...

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So check previous references. If you ask a previous landlord, "Would you rent to them again?" the normal response is "Absolutely!" If you hear the slightest hesitation, or the response is less than enthusiastic, that is a red flag. It often means the landlord didn't care for your applicants, but is uncomfortable saying so, because he/she feels sorry for them or is possibly even afraid of them.
I've read that you want the previous landlord (who of course will say complimentary things or else will say nothing at all) and the landlord before that, who will presumably feel free to speak their mind.

I don't know how to suss out a prospective tenant who's being foreclosed... unless, of course, they're so far behind on their mortgage that it shows up on their credit report.

Our rental property is practically in the center of a triangle formed by three large military bases-- thank goodness.
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:20 PM   #25
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Those who say "trust your instincts" are right. When we had a rental (small 1 BR apt.), we met every applicant personally. As important as checking their references was determining whether they seemed like normal people we could trust. Most of our tenants were young single women and this was their first ever apartment. They generally had entry-level jobs in a variety of fields. We had a bounced rent check or two over the years, but it generally worked out fine.

As far as lawyers -- don't believe a word they say.

Gumby ---aka Epimenides
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:05 PM   #26
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Gumby ---aka Epimenides
I confess I had to look that one up.

I must've dozed off when that subject was covered in plebe English...
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:44 PM   #27
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Wasn't in my Edith Hamilton either. Wikipedia to the rescue!
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:58 PM   #28
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A New York Lawyer friend of mine claims that the prohibition on discrimination based on source of income does not apply to discrimination on "licensed profession" I.e. as long as you discriminate against all lawyers, not just because they are paid as a lawyer ,you can satisfy the law. You can read the at
New York City Commission on Human Rights
It does not include profession but only source of income

Interesting question of statutory interpretation
Your NY lawyer friend might be technically correct about "source of income" discrimination not including discrimination based on a licensed profession, but the statement I referenced stated that "tenants are further protected against discrimination with respect to lawful occupation, sexual orientation, partnership status and immigration status."

I haven't studied the citations of authority for the above statement. I assume they are correct. Here's the link to the statement: NYC Rent Guidelines Board
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:21 PM   #29
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that's why you read the statute not the web site
Occupation is not in the statute
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:52 AM   #30
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that's why you read the statute not the web site
Occupation is not in the statute
Well, you shamed me into reading the "statute" and its entire text. Occupation is in the NYC Administrative Code, 8-107(n) as follows:

(n) Discrimination on the basis of occupation prohibited in housing accommodations. Where a housing accommodation or an interest therein is sought or occupied exclusively for residential purposes, the provisions of this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit discrimination in the sale, rental, or leasing of such housing accommodation or interest therein and in the terms, conditions and privileges of the sale, rental or leasing of such housing accommodation or interest therein and in the furnishing of faculties or services in connection therewith, on account of a person's occupation.


New York City Commission on Human Rights

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