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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