The lawsuit challenged a policy upheld by the complex which prohibited children from playing outside in the common grassy areas. It was argued through this litigation, that the actions of the defendants constituted a pattern or practice of discrimination against families with children residing on the property.
Complaints were filed with the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development by 5 families who claimed to be negatively impacted by the apartment policy. HUD investigated allegations and then issued a charge of discrimination against those responsible for initiating and maintaining the policy.
“Federal law guarantees families with children the right to equal access to housing, including full access to their homes’ amenities and facilities,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division. “Settlements such as this one help ensure that all families can enjoy that right.”
The defendants will pay $77,500 to the victims of their discrimination, and $2,500 to the government as a civil penalty. Additionally, they will be required to implement a nondiscrimination policy, establish new enforcement procedures for rule violations and undergo training on the Fair Housing Act.
As a property owner, is important that you are familiar with the laws surrounding the rental industry. Please refer to our website (www.eRentalServicesInc.com) or contact our office in order to obtain more information on best practice for resident screening and how to stay in compliance with the federal Fair Housing Act.
Source: United States Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs; http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/July/14-crt-785.html