Landlord Learns Lesson About Discrimination

“Winter Special Price for Two Adults”

kids handsThe owner and manager of an apartment house in Phoenixville, PA, has been charged with making discriminatory statements.

He is accused of running Craigslist ads indicating a preference against children, and then requiring higher rent when families with kids applied. One of the ads stated, “Winter Special Price for Two Adults.”

Testers posing first as childless couples, then as families with children allegedly caught the landlord imposing different rental charges for the same units.

“Charging higher rent to a family because they have children unjustly saddles them with an extra financial burden and violates the Fair Housing Act,” said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue to take swift action against owners and landlords who impose different terms and conditions on families with children.”

According to the complaint, the local housing authority noticed the ads on Craigslist and in the local newspaper, indicating that families with children were being charged higher rents than same-size households without children.  The landlord then allegedly 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 as renting 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.

During a different test, the landlord told a tester posing as a married woman with no children that a two-bedroom apartment was $740 a month. Later that day, a tester posing as a mother with a child contacted him about a two-bedroom apartment. When the tester asked if having a child was going to be a problem, he allegedly said, “It’s just going to be higher at $775 a month.”

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