Census Issues for Residential Landlords

Jamie Sternberg, Esq.


October 2019


Title 12, United States Code §223 requires third parties to assist census takers seeking information about residents in apartment buildings. The owner or manager must “furnish the names of the occupants of such premises, or … give free ingress thereto and egress therefrom.”  Violators may be subject to a fine of $500.00. The census taker is entitled to general access to the entryways of individual units and not the units themselves. 

Census workers are fingerprinted and have background checks completed before employment. You can ask to see their Census identification badge (which contains a photograph, Department of Commerce watermark, and expiration date) to verify their employment.

To avoid liability, a landlord should not release any additional tenant information to census workers without a court order, specific tenant authorization, or as otherwise allowed by law.  An article with more information about tenant privacy rights is available at.

Additional Resources:



Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP is a full service real estate law firm representing residential and commercial property owners and managers. This article is for general information purposes only. While KTS provides clients with information on legislative changes, our courtesy notifications are not meant to be exhaustive and do not take the place of legislative services or membership in trade associations. Our legal alerts are provided on selected topics and should not be relied upon as a complete report of all new changes of local, state, and federal laws affecting property owners and managers. Laws may have changed since this article was published.  Before acting, be sure to receive legal advice from our office. For contact information, please visit our website:  www.kts-law.com.  For past Legal Alerts, Questions & Answers and Legal Articles, please consult the resource section of our website.

© 2019 Kimball, Tirey and St. John LLP

© 2019 Kimball, Tirey and St. John LLP