questions & answers
Question: I am applying to live in an apartment, and the application asks for my birth certificate. My peers think that is unheard of and that I need to double check why they are asking for that personal documentation. Does it have anything to do with the laws regarding illegal immigration? Or does it have to do with checking to see if I am a legal citizen, but why can't they just use my drivers license and/or social security number?
According to the Arizona Landlord and tenant act, a landlord, may adopt rules or regulations, concerning the tenant's use and occupancy of the premises. Rules or regulations are enforceable against the tenant only if:
•Their purpose is to promote the convenience, safety or welfare of the tenants in the premises, preserve the landlord's property from abusive use or make a fair distribution of services and facilities held out for the tenants generally.
•They are reasonably related to the purpose for which adopted.
•They apply to all tenants in the premises in a fair manner.
•They are sufficiently explicit in prohibition, direction or limitation of the tenant's conduct to fairly inform the tenant of what the tenant must or must not do to comply.
•They are not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord.
•The tenant has notice of them at the time the tenant enters into the rental agreement.
A.R.S. § 33-1342.
Landlords are allowed to request documentation and conduct inquiries to determine whether a potential renter meets the criteria for rental, so long as this same procedure is applied to all potential renters. Landlords can ask for identity documents and institute credit checks to ensure ability to pay rent. However, a person’s ability to pay rent or fitness as a tenant is not necessarily connected to his or her immigration status.
Procedures to screen potential and existing tenants for citizenship and immigration status may Violate the Fair Housing Act’s prohibitions on national origin housing discrimination. HUD
Will investigate complaints alleging that a landlord inquired into a person’s immigration status
Or citizenship to see whether national origin discrimination may have occurred.
Landlords should remember that their policies must be consistent. If they ask for information
from one person or group, they must ask for the same information from all applicants and
tenants. Potential renters and home buyers cannot be treated differently because of their race,
color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status.
For more on immigration and housing discrimination refer to:
I am applying to live in an apartment, and the application asks for my birth certificate. My peers think that is unheard of and that I need to double check why they are asking for that personal documentation. Does it have anything to do with the laws regarding illegal immigration? Or does it have to do with checking to see if I am a legal citizen, but why can't they just use my drivers license and/or social security number?
- Let us know how we are doing! Please take a couple of minutes to fill out our survey.
- Please select your county of residence below.
State Bar of Arizona
Maricopa County Bar
Referral number 602-257-4434
Pima County Bar
Referral number 520-623-4625
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
Certified Legal Document Preparer Program