A New York Rental Application gathers information about a prospective tenant’s prior rental history, finances, employment, and any prior evictions so a landlord can make an informed decision before offering a lease agreement.
State law has several protections for people looking to rent property.  :
- Fee: As per § 238-A (b), landlords are not allowed to charge more than $20 or the actual cost of conducting background and credit checks, whichever is less. Furthermore, landlords can only set this fee if the applicant receives copies of all the reports created.
- Security Deposit: As per § 7-108 (a), if a prospective resident has their application approved, a landlord can charge a security deposit, but it cannot be greater than one month’s rent for most non-rent stabilized rental units. The landlord must hold the security deposit in a New York bank and tell the resident where the security deposit is held.
- Interest-Bearing Account: If a landlord receives more than six security deposits from their renters, they must place this money in an account that accrues interest for the renter.
Landlords must follow the Federal Fair Housing Act and the New York Human Rights Law. These laws make it illegal to ask questions based on the following:
- The race, national origin, or color of the applicant
- The religion of the applicant
- The sexual orientation or gender identity of the applicant
- Whether the applicant has a disability
- Whether the applicant has children
In addition, landlords cannot ask questions about the following:
- Whether the applicant is married
- Whether the applicant requires public housing or rental assistance
- The age of the applicant
- Whether the applicant is in the military
There are some exceptions to these areas. For example, if the rental unit is in an age-specific community, such as a senior living community, the landlord can ask for the applicant’s age  .