HUD Settles With California Landlords Over 2-Person-Per-Bedroom Policy

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Some Upland, California, owners and property managers will have to pay $10,000, abolish any 2-person-per-bedroom policy, remove language regarding the two-person-per-bedroom policy from advertising and marketing materials, and have property managers and staff attend fair housing training, according to a HUD release.

HUD announced the settlement between the Inland Fair Housing and Mediation Board and a group of Upland, CA, property owners and managers “resolving allegations that they discriminated against families with children by refusing to rent to them and by imposing different occupancy terms and conditions to families with children,” according to the release.

The complaint alleges the owner and property managers violated the Fair Housing Act by:

  • Refusing to rent to families with children;
  • Citing different terms and conditions to families with children;
  • Implementing and enforcing an unreasonably restrictive occupancy policy.

The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to deny or limit housing because a family has children under the age of 18, and to make statements or establish rules and policies that discriminate against families with children. Housing may exclude children only if it meets the Fair Housing Act’s exemption for housing for older persons.

“Families looking for safe, decent housing shouldn’t be penalized because they have children,”  said Anna María Farías, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, in the release. The agreement “reaffirms HUD’s commitment to ensuring that housing providers meet their obligation to treat all applicants the same.”

The case came to HUD’s attention when Inland Fair Housing and Mediation Board (IFHMB), a HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program agency, filed a complaint based on results from their fair-housing tests.

IFHMB alleged the tests showed the property owners and two property managers refused to rent to families with children and/or offered them different lease terms and conditions. The owners and managers also allegedly implemented an unreasonably restrictive two-person-per-bedroom occupancy policy at two rental properties.

The owners and managers deny they discriminated against families with children but agreed to resolve the matter through the Conciliation Agreement.

HUD Settles with California Landlords Over 2-Person-Per-Bedroom Policy

Photo by Six_Characters via istockphoto.com

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