A Jackson, Minn., landlord has been charged with violating the Fair Housing Act for allegedly refusing to rent an apartment to a woman and her young daughter.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the owner refused to rent to the family because he preferred not to rent to families with children.
"Refusing to rent housing to families with children is against the law unless the property legally qualifies as housing for older persons," said Bryan Greene, acting assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity for HUD.
"HUD will continue to take action against property owners who discriminate against prospective tenants because of their family status," he added.
According to HUD, the woman contacted the owner after seeing an advertisement in a local newspaper for a one-bedroom apartment. When she told the owner that the unit was for her and her one-year-old daughter, the owner allegedly said that he had rented to families before and it "just doesn't work." He then rented the apartment to a single tenant with no children.
Most such cases are settled out of court. If an administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, he may award damages to the family. In addition, the landlord could face fines and may be ordered to pay punitive damages.