Landlord’s Occupancy Mistake Costs $40K

A landlord in Groton, Connecticut has agreed to pay $40,000 to settle a Fair Housing lawsuit filed after a family was rejected for being too big for the rental property.

In addition, the landlord has agreed to have its employees undergo Fair Housing training, and to report to the Department of Justice the results of its training and any future housing complaints.

This matter stems from a Fair Housing complaint made by the Connecticut Fair Housing Center to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on behalf of a woman who claimed she was prevented from renting an apartment because of the size of her family.

In December 2011, the government filed a lawsuit alleging that the owners and managers of the 156-unit rental property discriminated on the basis of familial status by refusing to rent a two-bedroom apartment to a woman with four children.

The complaint alleges that, as applied in this case, the defendants two-person-per-bedroom occupancy limit is more restrictive than state and local law, and unreasonably limits the ability of families with children to rent at the property.

The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status.

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