Must a tenant disclose a prior criminal record history to a landlord?

UPDATED: Dec 15, 2011

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Must a tenant disclose a prior criminal record history to a landlord?

I recently discovered that a guy who I rented out one of my extra bedrooms to with a 1 year lease, is in fact, a convicted felon. He was charged with mail fraud 6 years ago for trying to steal over a $1,000,000. By law, was he supposed to inform me beforehand even though I didn’t ask him about any prior criminal activity verbally or by written application (much like a convicted sex offender is required to do)?

Asked on December 15, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately there is no general requirement that a non-sex offender notify a landlord of his/her criminal record. This is why many landlords will run a criminal background check on their prospective tenants--so they can discover if there was some criminal activity.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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