Community Must Pay $38K for Discriminatory Craigslist Ad

A Massachusetts landlord and property manager have been ordered to pay more than $38,000 in a housing discrimination case alleging discriminatory online advertisements against families with young children, according to a recent announcement by Attorney General Martha Coakley.

In May 2013, a court found the owner and property manager violated state law by posting an advertisement on Craigslist stating that an apartment “is not deleaded, therefore it cannot be rented to families with children under six years old.” Under Massachusetts law, it’s illegal to refuse to rent or steer families away from rental properties because they have young children whose presence triggers an owner’s duty to eliminate lead hazards that pose serious health risks.

The court order requires the owner and property manager of the 20-unit community to pay a civil penalty of $10,000 and more than $28,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs. They must also delead the next two-bedroom units that haven’t yet been deleaded when they become available for rent.

“Massachusetts law is very clear—landlords cannot avoid their obligations under the state’s lead paint laws by refusing to rent to families with young children,” AG Coakley said. “This judgment demonstrates that there are serious consequences for violating anti-discrimination laws.”

Source: Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office


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