Faking Abuse for Cheaper Rent
That''s what six women in New York City were indirectly doing to real victims of domestic violence when they got the bright idea to submit fraudulent documents in order to portray themselves as domestic abuse victims, according to The New York Times. Why? So they could jump ahead in line for the limited number of governmental rent-subsidized apartments in a city known for being expensive.
The subsidies - known as Section-8 vouchers - are worth potentially thousands of dollars a year. Tenants who qualify must pay 30% of their income toward rent. The remainder is picked up by Uncle Sam.
These sleazy crooks went as far as forging police reports and court documents. They got the "scam knocked out of them" when similarities and irregularities on the applications drew attention to them and an investigation began. All six will have their day in court soon.
So, if you're scheming to lie, cheat, or steal for an apartment, what are the ramifications?
It depends, of course, on the nature of the lie. A good rule of thumb is: don't.
An innocent-sounding fib about your income, employment, or credit history can snowball into a major problem. A landlord can quickly find this out via a standard credit check, and it certainly won't raise you to the top of his or her applicant list. If somehow you manage to rent a place and later these "little lies" are discovered, you could face a civil violation. You risk termination of your lease and possibly damages.
Have something you'd rather hide lurking in your past? The best approach is to be honest and upfront. If you are, you'll have the opportunity to explain yourself. Hide critical information, such as a felony record, and you won't have the luxury of explaining things when the sheriff comes knocking to throw you out.
If you outright use another person's personal information or identification this is a criminal offense. Going so far as to fake court or government documents? Start packing your bags for a sparse "apartment" behind bars.
As for these selfish women who legitimately stole from those who need assistance, let's hope they're smart enough to be honest on their rent application once they're released from jail. But who would want to rent to such lowlifes?