Landlord Put On Blast For Demanding Proof Of Immigration Status From Tenants

Immigration was a hot button issue throughout last year’s presidential election cycle, and it hasn’t quieted down too much now that the election is in the rearview mirror. President Donald Trump has made enforcement of the immigration laws on the books a priority of his administration, but detractors and critics have interpreted that quite differently. The confusion has carried over into everyday life as well, and there have been a number of awkward and unfortunate instances as a result.

As the New York Daily News shares, our latest example comes courtesy of a controversy that has surrounded a landlord in New York City. A notice was sent to residents of the building that noted that “proof of your status in US (Green card or Passport)” was required of all tenants.

“P.S If you fail to comply, your lease will not be renewed, we may have to terminate your lease and may have to evict you from the apartment,” the notice concluded.

That unexpected notice sparked some outrage, and the Daily News would get involved on behalf of the tenants that were upset. The landlord, Jaideep Reddy, apologized for the letter and the confusion that it generated.

“That’s wrong,” he said. “I’ll retract that. I’m sorry.”

Democratic State Sen. Jose Peralta would also get involved when a constituent informed him of the letter.

“It was very shocking and appalling,” he said. “Why would a management company want to know that when all they need to know is that you are the person on the lease?”

Reaction from residents was mixed, kind of like the whole debate over immigration.

“People here don’t like it,” said one resident. “This is completely illegal. People are feeling very sad. Some people are intimidated.”

“Why are they asking for papers? For me it’s not good because a lot of neighbors don't have anything. I’m with them,” said another resident. “A lot of people don’t want to talk. I think they're scared. I don’t like the letter.”

“I’m worried. ... They’re inside drinking, doing drugs, marijuana,” offered up another resident. “Now with new management, I’m hopeful."

As Reddy explains it, the notice was the product of frustration with being unable to access apartments to make necessary electrical repairs after a fire. The electrician, Eddie Peralta, claims that his secretary wrote the letter on behalf of himself and Reddy, but it sounds like he may have added in a few words here and there.

“Each apartment has 12 people in there! Is that safe? I don’t think it’s safe. Half the tenants won’t let the electrician into their apartment,” he said. “What Donald Trump is doing is right. People need to become legal!” he yelled. “Look what we do for all these illegal aliens, and what do they do? They commit homicides. They go raping people.”

Absent a specific law on the books that requires tenants to provide documentation of their immigration status, the landlord and electrician don’t have much of a leg to stand on. Whether that’s the way it should be or not is a whole other debate entirely.

Source: NY Daily News
Photo: NY Daily News Screenshot

Tenants were disturbed when they saw the notice.

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