DFEH Settles Marital Status Housing Discrimination Case Against San Diego Property Owner and Manager
July 17, 2018
For Immediate Release
San Diego Property Owner and Manager to Pay $7,500 to Settle Claims of Marital Status Discrimination and Use of an Unlawful Income Standard.
Sacramento – The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has reached a settlement in a housing discrimination case with property owner J & J Living Trust and a property manager, involving a couple who was denied the opportunity to rent a home because they were not legally married.
The complainant filed a complaint with DFEH alleging that he had been offered the lease for a home in San Diego, but upon disclosing that he planned to live with his boyfriend was told that both he and his partner had to individually satisfy a $90,000 yearly income standard. When the complainant asked if he and his partner could aggregate their incomes to satisfy the requirement, they were told that they could only do so if they were married, and since they were not, the complainant and his partner were forced to find another home to rent together.
DFEH found cause to believe a violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act and Unruh Civil Rights Act had occurred. After mandatory mediation, the property owner and manager agreed to pay the complainant $7,500 to resolve his claims.
“California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act makes it unlawful for landlords to apply an income standard where married couples can aggregate incomes but unmarried couples cannot,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish. “It is especially important in today’s tight housing market that landlords know not to use discriminatory income standards to deny housing to qualified applicants.”
In addition to a monetary settlement, the property owner and manager have agreed to attend annual fair housing training and distribute DFEH’s fair housing brochures to current and future tenants for two years.
Staff Counsel Grace Shim represented DFEH.
CRD is the state agency charged with enforcing California’s civil rights laws. Formerly known as the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the mission of CRD is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and state-fund programs and activities, and from hate violence and human trafficking. For more information, visit calcivilrights.ca.gov.