Census workers allowed to enter your rented home

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Did you know that by law, if you are not home when census worker comes to your home to verify how lives in your home, that they are legally allowed to gain access to your home?  That’s correct people!  If you have not turned in your census form and you are renting a place, the landlord must comply with the census workers request to allow them into your home, even if you are not home.

You can read a little more about this law over on AJC.   But it basically says that if your landlord does not grant them access, if they ask for it, then they (the landlord) can be fined $500 for not allowing them into your home!  Bob (writer of article on AJC) also goes on to mention that census workers have been requesting peoples private cell phone numbers, getting them, and (in my own words) harassing people for the information requested on the census form!

Makes me very glad that I do not rent an apartment or home!

ETA:  Not sure how true this information is, but I’ve seen about 50 articles written today alone about it and so far I didn’t notice any disputing it or saying it is incorrect.

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  1. 1


    OMG I didn’t know that. We don’t rent either but thats scary. Almost as scary as the registered sex offender that was a census taker. All the more reason to just fill out the form and send it in.
    .-= Frantic Holly´s last blog ..Save the Children =-.

  2. 2

    Bluestocking says

    What! That’s messed up!!!

    They better not give out cell phone numbers or somebody is going to get teamed out if they call me.
    .-= Bluestocking´s last blog ..Meet Ramona Winner =-.

  3. 3


    My husband is working for the Census and that just doesn’t even make since. How would entering your home when no one is there help them receive the info that is needed. Ok I just talked to him and he said that is false. As far as the sex offender that did happen (big opps) he said that things sometimes fall through the cracks with the fingerprint thing. He didn’t work for long though. I also asked him about the harassing phone calls and he said that they do ask for a phone number and it is up to the individual what number they give (I don’t know about the landlord having to give it out). Just like most public settings you have all kinds of people even below average people (putting it nicely) so it is possible that you have some jerk trying to do what they can to get the info by abusing their potion. Its sad when the bad apples ruins the reputation of all the good ones
    .-= Kelly W´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: Pictures for Mothers Day 2010 =-.

    • 4

      Tracy says

      We did not receive a form in the mail. The census lady came, I answered her verbal questions and then she left. However, a few weeks later, I began receiving calls on my cell phone. I work in an area which does not allow cell phones. Furthermore, I was actually tdy at the time. As a result, I missed three calls in one day. Well… today, a worker came to our house again. My husband was arriving home from work and asked what the person wanted. He/she (up for debate) said our zip code was wrong and needed inside our home. He said no. The person waited outside for a good 15 minutes and finally left. Do they have a legal right to come inside our home? We answered their questions. If the zip code was wrong, then that is on the lady who initially wrote down the answers.

  4. 5

    sarah says

    this doesnt make sense. I do know of 2 different states where sex offenders have bypassed the security information and then have been flagged after being hired. Both have gone to jail

  5. 8

    nicole says

    found a site that had the legal info:
    “The relevant language is at Title 13, Chapter 7, Subchapter II, § 223 of the US Code. The section prevents the owner or manger of “any hotel, apartment house, boarding or lodging house, tenement, or other building” from refusing to provide a list of the buildings occupants or providing access to “such premises”. This means a building’s owner or manger cannot refuse to let a census worker into or out of the building and cannot refuse to provide a list of occupants for the purpose of the census count. The penalty for refusal is $500. No where in the section does it authorize entry into individual apartments, lodgings, or “living quarters”.
    The relevant code section is found at: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode13/usc_sec_13_00000223—-000-.html

    sounds like case of no one accurately KNOWING what is/is not allowed with the law and running with it…

  6. 11


    That is ridiculous… what about the privacy you are paying for monthly? That is why you do not live with your in-laws and your parents.

    What ever happened to the little fact that the Census is optional. If it is optional, what gives them the right to invade your privacy? That is completely out of line, and it bothers me… more than a little bit!
    .-= Nina Say´s last blog ..Damn… 2 pages in and… =-.

  7. 12


    I’m glad that was cleared up.

    The landlord should not impede the Census worker in their tasks. I’m sure their have been cases where slum lords didn’t want workers in their apt buildings. If they can’t get in the front door, how can they get to the apt.
    .-= Robin´s last blog ..Wilton Giant Cupcake Pan Review & Giveaway =-.

  8. 13

    Amber says

    The original article is false, and the person who wrote it (a lawyer and former congressman) knows it. He’s one of those political hacks who likes to scare people for his own political gain. Don’t be fooled:

    FactCheck: More Census Nonsense

    As pointed out earlier, census workers CAN’T legally come into your home when you’re not there. They have no reason to be in your living space, and their training discourages them from entering your home even when you ARE there. For everybody’s comfort and safety.

    @ Tracy: You did the right thing by refusing to let the census worker into your home. He either didn’t know what he was doing or he was impersonating a census worker in order to victimize you somehow. You should call the policy anytime a census worker demands access to the inside of your home.