Landlord Faces Lawsuit Over Leasing Policy

 The U.S. Justice Department announced that it is suing the manager and owner of a Cleveland apartment house for refusing to rent to families.

In a statement released this week, the Justice Department alleges that the manager and landlord maintained a policy where applicants with children were rejected, and that tenants who had children while living at the property were evicted or told to relocate.

Attorneys for the government confirmed that fighting housing discrimination continues to be a top priority of the Justice Department. We will vigorously enforce the Fair Housing Act to ensure families are not denied the home of their choice because they have children, says Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from rejecting applicants, or applying different leasing rules, because a tenant has children. Policies which violate this rule include requiring a higher rent or security deposit, restricting occupancy to lower levels or particular sections of a property, and curfews or specific rules which apply only to families with children.

The lawsuit seeks an order prohibiting the defendants from engaging in future unlawful discrimination. It also seeks the payment of a civil penalty and monetary damages for the victims.

The complaint is an allegation of unlawful conduct. The allegations must be proven in federal court.

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