Property Manager Accused of Discriminating Against Prospects with Disabilities

A HUD Administrative Law Judge recently ruled against a Minnesota property manager accused of refusing to rent to prospects because of their disabilities. The judge ordered the manager to pay $27,000 to the prospects, $16,000 as a civil penalty, and $1,000 in other court sanctions.

The ruling stems from a HUD charge, filed last year, accusing the property manager of violating fair housing law by making discriminatory statements to the prospect and her roommate, and refusing to rent to them because they have mental disabilities.

The complaint alleged that the prospect tried to rent a single family home for herself and a roommate, each of whom had mental disabilities. Before the manager knew about their disabilities, she said that he agreed to rent them the home and gave them a key. She said she went to the home, along with her parents and roommate, to give him a security deposit and begin the process of moving in, but the manager allegedly said that they couldn’t rent the property because of their disabilities. Among other things, he allegedly said that the owner “did not want a bipolar in the house.”

"Refusing to rent to someone simply because they have a disability is not only wrong, it’s illegal,” Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “This order sends a clear message to housing providers that HUD remains committed to ensuring that they abide by the nation’s fair housing laws.”