Landlord Settles Claims of Discrimination in Parking Enforcement

The owner of rental property in Washington has agreed to a settlement to resolve allegations of race discrimination, according to a recent announcement by Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

State officials began an investigation after a resident complained that the manager towed cars belonging to African-American residents, but not those belonging to white residents. The complaint also alleged that the manager retaliated against residents who complained by withholding necessary repairs.

Under the Washington Law Against Discrimination, a landlord may not discriminate on the basis of race or color when enforcing rules such as a parking or towing policy. Landlords are also prohibited from retaliating against tenants who exercise their civil rights.

Under the settlement, the owner agreed to implement a nondiscrimination policy and to provide all employees who work with residents to attend fair housing training. The owner also agreed to reimburse a resident for towing two cars and to pay costs related to the Attorney General’s investigation.

“Washington law requires landlords to apply their policies equally to all tenants,” Ferguson said in a statement. “I won’t tolerate discrimination in the first instance, nor allow landlords to punish residents for exercising their civil rights.”

Source: Washington Attorney General’s Office