The Essex Property Trust, Inc. and Essex Portfolio, L.P., reached an agreement with HUD on Friday to settle a claim that the California-based property management company had discriminated against a woman based on her sex. The matter arose when the management company refused to remove the tenant’s [then] husband from the lease after the tenant had already received a restraining order against him.
“Survivors of abuse shouldn’t be victimized by having their housing rights violated… HUD is committed to ensuring that housing providers are aware of their responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act and that they take steps to comply with those obligations.” -Anna María Farías HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
Of the 7 protected classes under the Fair Housing Act, the one being violated here is the protected class of “sex.” The other 6 include Race, Color, Religion, Disability, Familial Status, and National Origin.
Under the settlement’s terms, the management company will pay the tenant $20,000 and also establish a domestic violence policy at the more than 240 residential properties it owns. This agreement also requires that the company’s regional manager and on-site property manager participate in fair housing training. Read the official HUD press release here.