Cincinnati landlord pays twice for discrimination

Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) in Cincinnati, Ohio settled its second complaintagainst a Cincinnati landlord in October 1997, less than a year after settling the firstcomplaint. The latest settlement called for a $30,000 payment to HOME. The December 1996settlement was for $20,000. Both settlement agreements included attorneys' fees.

HOMEsued Julianne and Terence Fealey, two Ohio landlords, in 1995 after testing one of theproperties they owned and managed. Through testing, HOME found that the Fealeys werediscriminating against both African-American renters and families with minor children.

During the tests conducted in 1994, HOME found evidence that Julianne Fealey wasdiscouraging African-Americans and families with minor children from renting apartments atone of the properties she owned with Terence Fealey. She also misrepresented theavailability of the apartments to protected class testers who were African-American or whoclaimed to have children. On the other hand, HOME said that Fealey encouraged whitetesters with similar incomes and backgrounds to apply for apartments.

Landlord told young African-Americans that complex was seniors-only to keep themfrom renting

On July 5, 1994, Julianne Fealey told an African-American tester that her complexwas for retired persons only. The next day, she told another African-American tester thather only vacant apartment had been rented. Less than five hours later, she told a whitetester that an apartment was available.

Julianne Fealey agreed to rent the apartment to the white tester, who was 25 years old.She arranged to collect a deposit for the apartment in July 12, 1994. The white testercalled Julianne Fealey at 9:30 A.M. on July 12 to cancel the meeting, saying that he wouldnot be renting the apartment.

Landlord repeatedly lied to African-American testers

At 11:00 A.M. on July 12, an African-American tester called Julianne Fealey to askabout a vacant apartment. Despite the cancellation less than two hours earlier, JulianneFealey told the African-American tester that no apartments were available.

In subsequent tests, Julianne Fealey told three African-American testers, aged 31, 28,and 28, that her complex was for seniors only and that she was only looking for tenantswho were 55 to 90 years of age. She did, however, tell two white testers (both 28) thatthey could rent an apartment at her complex.

HOME filed suit in federal court on December 1, 1995 and settled that case late in1996. HOME tested another property owned by Julianne Fealey in 1997. Using testers, HOMEagain uncovered a pattern of discrimination against African-Americans.

In a consent decree resolving HOME's 1997 complaint, Fealey admitted that the eventsdescribed in HOME's investigation were true. She agreed to pay $30,000 to settle HOME'sclaims.