Landlord Pays $250K to Settle Claim She Threatened to Report Tenants to ICE

A California landlord recently agreed to pay a $250,000 settlement to resolve allegations of discrimination based on national origin and perceived immigration status, according to an announcement by the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

The complaint was filed by a married couple with children in November 2017, alleging that their landlord threatened to report them to federal immigration authorities if they didn’t move out within a matter of days. They also claimed that their landlord threatened to report their attorney to the California Bar, claiming that it was illegal for the attorney to advocate on behalf of tenants that the landlord perceived to be undocumented.

Under the settlement, the landlord agreed to pay a total of $250,000 in damages and attorney’s fees. The settlement also requires the landlord to implement a new antidiscrimination policy, post fair housing notices at her properties, and complete fair housing and landlord tenant law training.

“California law is clear,” DFEH Director Kevin Kish said in a statement. “Landlords cannot threaten to report their tenants to immigration authorities to pressure them to move out. All Californians have the right to fair housing regardless of their immigration status or national origin.”