Sunday, November 27, 2016

Complaint By Rejected Rental Applicant To Denver Fair Housing Group Leads To Reeling In Another Landlord In Housing Discrimination Suit; Defendant Agrees To Cough Up $70K To Resolve Allegations It Discriminated Against Families w/ Young Kids, Those Needing Assistance Animals; Charges Based On Evidence Gathered By Testers Posing As Tenants

In Littleton, Colorado, The Denver Post reports:
  • A fair housing agency investigating complaints found that an employee of a Littleton apartment complex illegally refused to accept renters who had children or those who depended on service animals.

    The Denver Metro Fair Housing Center(1) investigated the Langford Apartments after DeWayne Curtis responded to a Craigslist listing and a management company employee told him the apartment didn’t accept families with children.

    “They were willing to show us the apartment but as soon as I told they had kids, they told me a child had hurt himself on the property and now they don’t allow them,” Curtis said on Thursday.

    During the investigation an employee of Katchen & Co., the management company, was recorded telling investigators “we don’t accept children,” according to a fair housing center news release. He also told a deaf investigator that the Langford didn’t allow service animals, and said, “if you’re deaf, I don’t think this is the place for you.”

    No one from Katchen & Company was immediately available to respond.

    Under the Fair Housing Act, owners managers and other housing providers must make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies and practices to ensure the disabled can get housing, even if they have service animals. The act also prohibits discrimination against those with children under 18.

    Under terms of the settlement, Katchen & Company employees will receive fair housing training, the company will adopt a company-wide anti-discrimination policy and future advertisements will encourage families with children and people with disabilities to apply, according to the release.

    The settlement also provided for $70,000 in relief to the complainants.

    “I’m happy with the outcome,” Curtis said. “When I put in the complaint, I didn’t even think it would get this far. It keeps others from having the same experience.”
Source: Littleton apartment management company settles fair housing complaints involving children, service animals.
(1) Denver Metro Fair Housing Center is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating housing discrimination through comprehensive education, advocacy, and enforcement [ie. filing pro bono lawsuits] of the Fair Housing Act.

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