Wyoming apartment complex requiring proof of citizenship for tenants

The owners of Blair Place Apartments in Jackson Hole, Wyoming recently enacted a new policy that has many residents upset: tenants must now provide proof of citizenship or legal status before they can renew their lease:

The policy initially led some to raise concerns about discrimination, but because the landlords apply the policy to all tenants at the 294-unit complex, it is lawful.

From the owners’ perspective, it’s about ensuring that a renter will be able to follow through on the terms and duration of the lease.

“The main concern is that the prime lease holder can remain in the United States for the duration of the contract,” attorney Melissa Owens said, speaking on behalf of the Oliver family, which owns Blair Place.

Todd Oliver reiterated that point in an email.

“Blair Place cannot engage in a contract with any individual that cannot be in the apartment for the entire term of the lease,” he wrote. “As a result, we ask all applicants for their U.S. government issued photo identification (just like a hotel).”

Additionally, Blair Place issued a 40% rent hike, increasing the rate from around $1,250 to $1,800 for a two-bedroom apartment. The owners offered to keep rent rates steady for those who sign a new lease, but that leaves many tenants who can’t comply with the proof-of-legal-status policy out in the cold. However, the owners of the complex made it clear that only primary lease holders must show proof of identification, meaning illegals can still live in the apartments as boarders.