The blacklist — excuse me — the database is back

October 4th, 2009 by Philip Brasor & Masako Tsubuku

Soon, getting into one of these will be harder...or easier!

Soon, getting into one of these will be harder…or easier!

Last month, we reported on a plan by a group of rental guarantee companies to develop a blacklist of renters delinquent with payments. This would presumably help landlords screen potential tenants for scofflaws. The plan was temporarily shelved after rental guarantee companies that didn’t belong to the association complained, saying that business was bad enough without alienating potential renters. Nonprofit organizations involved with the poor also protested, saying that such a blacklist would only create more homeless.

According to the Asahi Shimbun, the association has turned around again. They are now dead set on making sure the blacklist becomes a reality, though now they insist it should be called a database, since it will list not only people who have repeatedly been late with rent payments, but also people who have been consistently on-time.

At a news conference to announce the association’s new resolve, one of the officials said that they decided to revive the idea because of support from “tenants” who think it’s a good idea, including many “foreigners.” The database, he continued, is useful for helping the “socially vulnerable” who are not normally “welcomed” by many landlords due to their economic situation or their “nationality.”

Presumably, having a good record of rental payments in the past will make these landlords suddenly agree to accept tenants they wouldn’t normally countenance. What should probably be mentioned, though, is that people who resort to guarantee companies to provide the co-signer all landlords demand are usually poorer to begin with, since they apparently don’t have family or employers willing to be guarantors.

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