According to the City of Las Cruces 2016-2020 Consolidated Plan, pursuant to federal HUD requirements, there are almost as many renter households as owner households here. In 2015, there were an estimated 17,611 renter households and an estimated 23,439 owner households. So being a landlord is big business here. The City found that for poor neighborhoods, including those near NMSU, “by far the largest housing problem…was cost burden and severe cost burden. Renter households were more likely to be both severely cost burdened and cost burdened than owners.” Cost burdened is defined in the report as households paying between 30% and 50% of their income for housing and severely cost burdened is when you’re paying 50% or more of your income for housing.
Have you been turned down by a landlord? Let us know! Sometimes landlords get information about the wrong person. The Federal Trade Commission cracked down on a company that provides screening information to landlords nationwide, RealPage. The agency found violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and RealPage paid $3 million dollars to settle it. https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2018/10/texas-company-will-pay-3-million-settle-ftc-charges-it-failed. In that case and others like it, screening information was wrong, like a criminal record on a different person with the same name.
Before you rent, be sure to check reviews of landlords on web sites and apps such as apartmentguide.com and Yelp. Also look at news articles in the Las Cruces Sun-News. For example, in September, 2018, they ran an article about a class action lawsuit against a landlord on West Picacho Avenue. When you move out, consider posting a review.
- Before you rent.
- Renting with a roommate.
- How do I get my landlord to make repairs?
- How do I get my deposit back when I move out?