Landlord Fined $50,000 for Discrimination Takes Own Life

law booksA landlord who last week was ordered to pay $50,000 for a housing discrimination claim (see Landlord to Pay $50,000 for Dissing Tenant’s Boyfriend) has died, an apparent suicide, according to a report in the Arab, Alabama news.

HUD charged the man with discrimination after tenants complained he threatened to evict them because one of them, a white woman, was dating a black man.  In addition to the fine, the landlord was ordered to complete fair housing training before renting out any properties in the future, to provide the local housing office with copies of any advertisements or leases, and, if he rejected any applicant,  to supply a written statement identifying the reason for the rejection.

The landlord told reporters that he was not able to tell his side of the story during the administrative hearing, including claims that the tenants were violating the occupancy limits for the property, trashing it, behind on the rent, and possibly selling drugs.

He was caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s disease according to the report, and also feared losing his investment property because of the judgment against him.

The landlord admitted in an interview that he should not have shared his negative views about interracial marriage, but maintained his claim that race was not the motivation for the eviction threats.

According to the report, the landlord remained defiant when dealing with HUD officials, insisting that he could rent to whomever he chose, and vowing to appeal the verdict.

He complained that the proceedings had affected his health.

Reporters found that one of the persons living at the rental at the time of the complaint was recently charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia following a traffic stop.

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