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I am renewing my apartment lease for the 2nd time and I am…

Customer Question
Good afternoon! I am...

Good afternoon! I am renewing my apartment lease for the 2nd time and I am now being told it is a requirement of the management that I provide copies of my SS Card. This was not required the initial or last renewal. Can you tell me if it is legal for this request to be upheld? I am concerned about security and identity theft

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

Maryland, Prince Georges County

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

No I have not renewed my lease but have been given an ultimatum that compromises security of my identity and I am not comfortable with

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Can a leasing office require this information? I have offered proof of identity via my passport

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
3/12/2018
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 127,599
Experience: Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
Verified

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

While they can mandate proof of citizenship, they cannot mandate the use of your SS card for this reason. In fact, your SS card has printed on it "Not for identification." So, you need to inform your leasing office in writing that you will provide a copy of your passport to proved citizenship, but you will not give your SS Card and if they continue to pursue this, you will file a complaint with the US Office of Housing and Urban Development and the US Attorney's Office for them using an SS number improperly.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Dear Residents,Please join us for a Spring Renewal Party! It will take place on Thursday, March 1st, 2018 from 5:00p.m. to 7:00p.m.If you choose to renew, please submit the following:online application
drivers license
social security card
updated copy of renters insurance indicating Century Summerfield as the party of interestHere is the information provided me in reference to a lease renewal. Have not seen anything in writing in a new lease agreement. They are asking for a copy of my SS card is that legal?
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

As I said, they can ask but they cannot force you to give it, as I said. You need to respond to them and inform them you will provide a copy of your passport, but due to identity theft not your SS Card. If they refuse, then you would need to file your complaint with US HUD.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Can you provide the exact language in the Fair Housing information that supports the fact that they can not force me. I would like to share that along with my information.Thanks!
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

There is NO law saying they can demand the information and force you to provide it, no law means I cannot give you a law. See: https://www.nextadvisor.com/blog/2015/01/29/social-security-number-rental-application/

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
can they prohibit me from renewing my lease if there is no law that states this?
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

They could refuse to renew and again there is no law forcing you to provide the information either, which is why I told you contact US HUD and complain to them because many times they can intervene and will call the landlord and tell them to take something else. But because there is no law, the landlord could refuse to renew if you refuse to provide the documentation they request.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I just contacted HUD and they say they do not deal with matters of homes that are not low income. I am not section 8 or otherwise, I pay over 2,000 per month for my lease. Please provide me with the correct contact for this issue.
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

They are supposed to handle fair housing claims. This would be a fair housing claim. Other than HUD, if they choose not to handle it (remember there is no actual law),

The Maryland Commission on Civil Rights would be the only other possibility (again there is no law, we discussed that above and you nor I can make a law): http://mccr.maryland.gov/Pages/Housing-Discrimination.aspx

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Spoke to the Supervisor of the leasing company and she stated there is a Maryland law that requires leasing offices to run social security checks and keep the items on the premises for audit purposes.
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Can you let me know about any new Maryland law that I may not be aware of?
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

There is no such MD law mandating that the landlord keep social security records or cards on file. The laws do not require them to keep your SS card on file or any such thing. MD does not even have a law mandating proof of citizenship or legal status in the US. The landlords request the information so they have enough information to sue tenants if they breach the lease. But there is no such actual LAW in MD for regular housing and this is solely up to the landlord, not a law and many landlords claim it is a law to avoid fighting with tenants.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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