Landlord Fined $15,000 for Charging Higher Rent
A landlord in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania has agreed to pay $15,000 in fines for allegedly charging tenants with children higher rent.
He also stated a preference against children, according to the complaint.
It is illegal to impose different rental charges and terms of a lease on households because of the presence of children, according to HUD.
HUD brought the charges for discrimination after it followed up on a complaint filed with a local housing agency. That agency sent in testers to pose as rental applicants. In one test, the landlord told a tester posing as a mother with a son that she would have to pay $775 for a two-bedroom apartment that had been advertised for $740. Later that same day, he told a different tester posing as a married woman with no children that a two-bedroom apartment rented for $745 a month. In another test, he told a tester posing as a married woman with no children that a two-bedroom apartment was $740 a month, while telling a tester who inquired later that day whether children were welcome, Its just going to be higher at $775 a month.
HUDs charge also alleged that the landlord and manager were liable for making discriminatory statements, including in advertisements on Craigslist indicating a preference against families with children, and discouraging families with children from applying for housing. One of the ads placed by the manager stated: “Winter Special Price for Two Adults.”
In addition to paying the fine, the landlord must display fair housing signs in its leasing office, as well as the Equal Housing Opportunity logo on its vacancy signs and other rental materials.
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