Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that he is including in his upcoming budget a ban on landlords charging more than a single month’s rent as a security deposit.
The proposed legislation aims to stop a recent phenomenon of landlords upping their demands of potential tenants to pay three or five months’ rent up front as a security against non-payment of rent.
If approved by the legislature, the bill would allow landlords to only charge the security deposit equal to a single month’s rent, plus the first month’s rent. The proposal will prevent exorbitant security deposits, removing a significant barrier to people trying to find an affordable place to live.
“Every New Yorker deserves a safe, affordable and secure place to call home,” Cuomo said in a statement accompanying the press release, “but too many landlords engage in discriminatory and arbitrary practices that create unnecessary barriers to housing.”
Other details of the Democratic governor’s proposal would prevent landlords from rejecting as tenants people with Section 8 vouchers, welfare, Social Security or veterans’ benefits. An estimated 650,000 New Yorkers are on these programs.
In addition, the bill would ban landlords from rejecting anyone with a poor credit history or low credit score.