Saturday, July 15, 2017

Landlord Agrees To Shell Out $20K To Resolve Fair Housing Allegations That Building Manager Harassed Latino Tenants, Enforced Overly Restrictive House Rules That Singled Out Kids

From the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (Washington, D.C.):
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced [in May] that it reached an agreement with the owner and manager of a California apartment complex, resolving allegations they discriminated against tenants because of their national origin and familial status. Two related complaints filed with HUD alleged that the manager of the Four Palms Apartments in Mountain View, California, made discriminatory statements about Latino residents and prohibited their children from playing outside. Read the Conciliation Agreement.

    The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in rental, sales or home lending transactions based on a person’s national origin or familial status. This includes discrimination based on a person’s ancestry or country of birth, and discrimination against families with children under the age of 18.
    The case came to HUD’s attention when two Latino couples that live at the Four Palms Apartments filed a complaint alleging that the owner and the manager of the complex discriminated against them because of their national origin and because they have children.

    In addition, Project Sentinel, a Santa Clara, California-based fair housing group, filed a complaint on behalf of the residents, alleging that the manager of Four Palms Apartments repeatedly made statements indicating that he did not like having Latino tenants at the property because they did not speak English, and accusing them of bringing pests, including bed bugs and rats, to the property.

    Project Sentinel further alleged that the manager prohibited children from playing at the property, enforced overly restrictive rules that singled out children, and terminated the lease of one of the Latino families that filed a complaint after their two-year-old daughter became agitated and cried loudly when the manager walked by the family’s door.

    Under the Conciliation Agreement, the owner will pay a total of $20,000 and revise the Four Palm’s rules to comply with the Fair Housing Act. In addition, the property’s manager will complete fair housing training.