Park Slope Renters: Military Need Not Apply

Is it legal? Is it binding? Is it discriminatory? What’s going on here? sloper111 writes on the Park Slope Message Board:

“I just signed a lease for an apartment in Park Slope… I know the Slope is liberal, and we don’t like that fucking Bush and his fucking war. But I can separate the asshole in Washington from supporting the troops. The landlord made me sign saying I wasn’t in the military and wouldn’t join the military. Now, I need an apartment… I can’t look for another now, so I signed.”

“This landlord won’t rent an apartment to someone in the military for fear of losing rent if they end up in Iraq. Am I the only one bothered by this?”

This may actually be pretty common. sarajean8 writes in reply: “Come to think of it, my lease had a whole page concerning this military topic…”

Read more on the Park Slope Message Board

8 Replies to “Park Slope Renters: Military Need Not Apply”

  1. Here’s why:

    Individuals entering or called to active duty in the military service may terminate a residential lease if: (1) the lease was executed by the service member before he/she entered active duty; and (2) the leased premises have been occupied by the member or his/her dependents. Any such lease may be terminated by written notice delivered to the landlord at any time following the beginning of military service. Termination of a lease requiring monthly payments is not effective until 30 days after the first date on which the next rent is due. For example, if rent is due on the first day of the month, and notice is mailed on January 1, then rent is next due on the first of February and the effective date of lease termination is the first of March (N.Y. Military Law § 309).

    This is not new, and has nothing to do w. Bush and/or Iraq.

  2. This is 100% illegal and good old fashioned discrimination.

    Substitute, “jew” or “black” in the places where it says military and see how you would feel.

    If you have any moral backbone, you should send this to the attorney general and have him prosecute.


  3. It’s not what you think it is. In landlord/tenant court in NYC you must fill out a non-military affidavit in any case for non-payment (left over from WWII) it’s a artifact from that time and this rider simply tries to address that in advance.
    It has absolutley nothing whatsoever to do with discriminating against members of the military for political reasons.

  4. However, jon p, making a tenant sign a rider saying he or shw won’t join the military is illegal (or just stupid; it wouldn’t stand up for anything in any court).

  5. We use a version of that rider that is quite common (many of the larger managing agents use same)– it does -not- state “…wouldn’t join the military” (nor do I believe this one did)– the person just was reacting to what they _thought_ was a political thing. It’s nothing of the sort.

    As far as what holds up in court, 80% of what’s in the lease doesn’t hold up in NYC L&T court, so this is no different– just an attempt to not get hung up on the non-Mil affidavit.

  6. Military Status is a protected class under New York State Fair housing law.
    This landlord is in clear violation of fair housing law and should be reprorted. He could be subject to some heavy fines.
    It is suprising how many board packages from large management firms have this same question in them or on their riders.

  7. >

    Am I the only one who has absolutely HAD IT up to HERE with landlords and “managing agents” inserting unethical clauses that skirt the line of legality (i.e. the clause at issue here, and security deposits/rent deposits beyond one month in rent stabilized apartments) and arguing to us tenants that “this is standard” and “oh sure the larger agents normally use this” as if the fact that oh a BUNCH of large landlords want to screw the socks off tenants – well, sure than this bull**** contract clause should be fine. If there is one reason I went to LAW SCHOOL it’s to see bad logic like this – i.e. if the larger corporations want to act like bad citizens it’s okay – and say NO WAY. Jon P and all the rest of his landlord cronie scum can take the same end of my stick. But if we ALL agree to screw them – it’s STANDARD – this should be fine with him yes? Afterall, if we *commonly* do so, it’s acceptable isn’t it?

  8. i am in the military and i was digusted when i read this bull. you should defently report this man not for your self but for all us soliders that were taken from our homes and deployed overseas not becuase we wanted to go but it was our duty to go.

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