N.M. Owner Settles Disability Discrimination Claim for $200K

The owner and manager of rental property in Albuquerque, N.M., recently agreed to pay $200,000 to settle allegations of discrimination and retaliation against a tenant with a disability.

The government’s complaint alleged that the tenant became disabled as a result of a medical condition more than two years after he and his family moved into the rental home. Allegedly, the owner unlawfully refused to permit the tenant, who uses a wheelchair, to make reasonable modifications to the home at the tenant’s own expense and with the assurance that the tenant would restore the premises to its original condition after moving out. The complaint also accused the owner of unlawfully retaliating against the tenant by evicting him after he requested permission to make reasonable modifications to accommodate his disability.

In addition to the monetary award, the settlement requires the owner to implement standards and procedures for receiving and handling requests made by persons with disabilities for reasonable modifications and accommodations at his rental properties and to submit to the government written reports regarding his efforts for three years.

“My Office is committed to ensuring that all New Mexico residents have equal access to housing,” U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said in a statement. “We will continue to build on the Justice Department’s record of enforcing fair housing laws and removing barriers that are discriminatory to New Mexicans with disabilities.”

Source: U.S. Department of Justice


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