Landlord Attempted to Evict Single Mother for Filing Fair Housing Complaint

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced that a HUD Administrative Law Judge has ordered an Iowa landlord to pay $52,150 in damages and civil penalties for retaliating against a single mother of three by threatening to evict her because she filed a housing discrimination complaint.

The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to retaliate against individuals because they exercised their fair housing rights.

>”HUD will not tolerate retaliation against individuals who file discrimination complaints,” stated John Trasvina, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Discrimination victims are not alone when exerting their rights under the Fair Housing Act.”

In November 2008, the mother of three filed a housing discrimination complaint against Cedar Rapids landlord Robert Miell alleging that he refused to rent her a three-bedroom apartment and unjustly charged her a higher security deposit because of her sex.? HUD found no evidence of sex discrimination, but charged the landlord and management company in September 2009 with unlawfully retaliating against the tenant by terminating her lease and attempting to evict her because she filed a housing discrimination complaint.

An Administrative Law Judge awarded the tenant and her family $20,150 in damages and assessed a total civil penalty of $32,000 against the landlord and his management corporation.

HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate more than 10,000 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777 (voice), 800-927-9275 (TTY).

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