Is it discrimination in NYC to ask for an additional month rent beforehand because of immigration status?

A friend of mine is looking for an apartment in New York City. Her credit score was approved and she supplied proof of income and employment (found to be satisfactory). The broker then told her that the landlord would require in addition to the first month and security deposit that were already agreed on, the last month rent as well, at the lease signing, because she is not a citizen and doesn’t have a green card. She is legally in the country and she has a legal employment in a well known company.

Is this discrimination based on the New York City Human Rights law, ยง 8-107 Unlawful discriminatory practices, point 5, which reads: (this is a management company owned relatively big building, found through a broker)

5. Housing accommodations, land, commercial space and lending practices.
(a) Housing accommodations. It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for the owner, lessor, lessee, sublessee, assignee, or managing agent of, or other person having the right to sell, rent or lease or approve the sale, rental or lease of a housing accommodation, constructed or to be constructed, or an interest therein, or any agency or employee thereof:
(1) To refuse to sell, rent, lease approve the sale, rental or lease or otherwise deny to or withhold from any person or group of persons such a housing accommodation or an interest therein because of the actual or perceived race, creed, color, national origin, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, partnership status, or alienage or CITIZENSHIP STATUS of such person or persons, or because of any lawful source of income of such person, or because children are, may be or would be residing with such person or persons.
(2) To discriminate against any person because of such person’s actual or perceived race, creed, color, national origin, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, partnership status, or alienage or CITIZENSHIP STATUS, or because of any lawful source of income of such person, or because children are, may be or would be residing with such person, in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale, rental or lease of any such housing accommodation or an interest therein or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection therewith.

(4) The provisions of this paragraph (a) shall not apply:
(1) To the rental of a housing accommodation, other than a publicly-assisted housing accommodation, in a building which contains housing accommodations for not more than two families living independently of each other, if the owner or a member of the owner’s family reside in one of such housing accommodations, and if the available housing accommodation has not been publicly advertised, listed, or otherwise offered to the general public

3 Responses to “Is it discrimination in NYC to ask for an additional month rent beforehand because of immigration status?”

  1. Katey Says:

    No it isn’t. The CITIZENSHIP STATUS they refer to is of an illegal alien conviction or some one who has been convicted and is not yet deported or may be deported by law and for this reason shall not be discriminated upon because of the due process clause of a status hearing. In other words, the hearing can deport the person and has changed the status to pending, but if they are not deported by law, a landlord can not deport the person from NYC housing, thus sending them to the airport if they can’t find a place to live. It has nothing to do with what rent rates can be charged. Last month is not an uncommon practice and you can’t say that this person is charged unfairly if you have no evidence, that the landlord does not ever charge US Citizens last month rent. All you have is a non US citizen and a law with the words CITIZENSHIP STATUS.

    New York City Human Rights law does not handle rental fees. You are like going there claiming the landlord charges non US citizens last month rent fees as if the landlord can’t charge fees to a visitor once they land in JFK. Simply put, the landlord has the right to secure the last month if there is probable cause to suspect a flight out of the country.

  2. Everythang's gonna be all white Says:

    You cannot ask for additional rent for any reason…except maybe for a pet deposit.

  3. gomanyes Says:

    Yes, that violates the statute. It probably violates federal housing laws as well. I’d suggest that the broker write a firm letter to the landlord threatening a lawsuit if this demand is not rescinded, and enclose a copy of the law.