WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — A Florida Congressman-Elect said he was denied an apartment in the District due to bad credit.
Maxwell Alejandro Frost, who is the first Gen-Zer elected to Congress, tweeted Thursday, “Just applied to an apartment in DC where I told the guy that my credit was really bad. He said I’d be fine. Got denied, lost the apartment, and the application fee. This ain’t meant for people who don’t already have money.”
He went on to say he accumulated debt after quitting his full-time job to campaign full-time for Congress. Frost is just 25 years old.
“I think credit is probably the number one way people get denied in DC. And what seems crazy to me is someone made a really big mistake in his case, but I think that happens all the time,” said Marc Borbely, Senior Staff Attorney for the DC Tenant’s Rights Center.
Borbely said credit is just one barrier tenants can face when searching for an apartment in DC.
“One is credit scores and the second one is rental history,” he said. “There are many people who had trouble with renting in the past and so that’s an issue that we’ve had many times. And many clients who have trouble finding new places because they’ve had trouble in their old places.”
Borbely said there are protections in place to break down some barriers.
Under DC law, landlords must lay out the criteria they have for accepting tenants, you cannot be denied a lease due to old unrelated, criminal records and more.
“The landlord cannot deny a person solely on their credit score. If they’re denying you they have to tell you why they’re denying you,” he said.
Borbely also noted that the situation is highlighting a large issue.
“What it’s really highlighting is, yes a lack of housing, but also unfairness in how these choices are being made. Part of it, it seems crazy that someone who is going to be making a lot of money is denied for a seemingly credit score, it doesn’t make sense.”