Monday, March 24, 2008

Possible Trouble For Arizona Landlords

This is an email I received from the ACLU today and it applies directly to all landlords in Arizona.

Currently, the Arizona House of Representatives is considering a bill that, if passed, would restrict housing for Arizonans, and cost the state of Arizona millions to enforce.

HB 2625 would prohibit landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants. Private landlords are not trained in immigration-related document review and verification, yet this bill would compel them to assess whether a tenant has presented proper documentation. Studies show that the elderly and disabled populations are much more likely to lack government-issued photo identification, like drivers' licenses, or ready access to birth certificates or citizenship documentation-so, if passed, HB 2625 would have potentially devastating effects on lawful residents.

In addition to punishing landlords by forcing them to act as federal law enforcement agents, HB 2625 would also violate the property and contract rights of both landlords and tenants, as well as federal fair housing and privacy laws, and disproportionately discriminate against Latino families.

HB 2625 raises serious concerns about procedural due process guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. To date, not one anti-immigrant housing ordinance has withstood constitutional scrutiny anywhere in the country.

The Arizona House of Representatives will be voting on HB 2625 next week, and we need you to urge your Representative to VOTE NO on HB 2625!

Please contact your local Representative by clicking here

Tell your Representative that HB 2625 is:

  • Bad for landlords
  • Hurts U.S. citizens & authorized visitors
  • Constitutionally suspect
  • Imposes major enforcement costs

I know as a landlord, I would not want to get involved in determining the citizenship status of my tenants. At the very least, what if they have fake documents? How am I supposed to detect those?


Brad said...

You would only be in trouble if you knowingly rented to them, or went about it in such a haphazard way that you didn't bother checking their paperwork at all. Keep records of the their paperwork and you'll be fine if the feds come calling.

That email looks like a whole lot of FUD to me. For our properties we use a service to run prospective tenants through - it costs $25 and includes, work verification, credit check, etc. The worst that would happen with a bill like this is for property managers and services like the one I described above to raise their prices $2 and start checking citizenship status as well. And that's a cost I will gladly pay if it will help stem the tide of illegal immigrants coming into the country.

Rob Lawrence said...

Arizona is not the only state this is happening to. Many states are over stepping their bounds in an effort to protect both parties. Of course not everyone is happy with the results.

Justin H said...

To date, not one anti-immigrant housing ordinance has withstood constitutional scrutiny anywhere in the country.

Anti-illegal immigrant is different from anti-immigrant :rolls eyes: The point of this is to make it harder for ILLEGAL immigrants to be here. If you came here legally, you will have a SSN or some equivalant to put on the application that will pull up some information on you.

I agree though, that it puts property managers in a role they shouldn't really be. If the government mandates it, the should provide a capability to easily search databases and come back with a response immediately, at no cost.

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