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How much can a landlord charge me for my background check? Can I provide my own background check to a landlord? How much can my late fee be?

There are more and more laws being made in New York State by the Attorney General in order to make things clear for both the landlord and the tenants that are renting from them.

There is a new law that went into effect in 2022. No landlord can 'blacklist' potential tenants anymore. What does 'blacklisting' mean if you are a landlord? You cannot deny a tenant an apartment or space because of a previous legal situation with a different landlord. For example: A landlord cannot pass on a potential tenant because that tenant sued one of the last landlords for any reason. If the landlord cannot give a justifiable reason for why they denied you, they may get fined by New York State.

Here are some important things to note to make sure you're landlord, or future landlord is not doing:

  • A rent payment can only be considered late if it is received more than five days after it is due.
  • The most your landlord can charge as a late fee is $50 or 5% of your monthly rent, whichever is less.
  • Before signing a lease, the most a landlord can charge is $20 for a credit and background check.
  • The landlord has to give you a copy of the background/credit check, as well as an invoice from the company that performed it. Otherwise, they can’t charge you for it.
  • You can provide your own background and credit check to avoid any fees, as long as the background/credit check was done in the past 30 days.

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