March 11, 2009 Mara Bushari

Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office has filed a housing discrimination complaint against City Realty Group, Inc. (“City Realty”), a Brighton-based real estate company, and one of its agents for allegedly refusing to rent an apartment to a tester from the Boston Fair Housing Commission who represented that she was looking for an apartment for herself and her three-year-old child. The complaint alleges that City Realty violated state anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws by refusing to rent to a prospective tenant with a child because it would have created an obligation to abate lead paint hazards in the rental unit. According to the tester, the defendant allegedly told her that she could not rent the apartment unless she signed a waiver purporting to relieve the property owner from compliance with Massachusetts lead paint laws. Under Massachusetts law, it is illegal to refuse to rent to a prospective tenant with young children due to the presence of lead paint in the rental unit. It is also illegal to discriminate against renters because of their familial status or because they have children.

Come on agents!!! Seriously! Learn the laws and abide by them. Unfortunately, we still have housing discrimination and it is simply unacceptable. As a landlord, you MUST know and abide by lead paint and anti-discrimination laws. My advice to you…de-lead your property as soon as your purchase it. Simple. Agents learn these laws from day one and there is absolutely NO reason for this kind of behavior.

Mara Bushari

Mara is a creative thinker and strategic marketer. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Boston University’s College of Communication and worked in international finance before joining The Bushari Team. Mara strives to exceed expectations. As Client Relations Specialist, she is a key facilitator in all team transactions, making the buying or selling process as stress-free as possible for the client. Mara learned many of her extraordinary organizational and problem-solving skills during her service in the Israeli Defense Forces, where she earned the “President’s Award” for exceptional service. In the military, Mara solidified her abilities to achieve top results in high pressure and time sensitive situations. In her spare time, Mara enjoys skiing, photography and writing.

Comments (2)

  1. Tracy

    Yes for the AGO! Trying to find deleaded housing here in Boston is very difficult. Real estate brokers discriminate ALL THE TIME and are complicit with the landlords/owners. Typically the first question they ask is “who is the apartment for?” and then when I tell them I have two children they ask their ages. According to the law their ages should not matter. Agents will ONLY tell me about the deleaded listings and WILL NOT even talk about those that are not deleaded. Often the response I get when I ask if a specific apartment is deleaded is “I’m not sure, I’ll have to look into that.” Please, like they don’t know. Something needs to be done about this. More people need to file complaints. It is really easy, I just went to the Mass. Commission Against Discrimination and filed one. I hope more people step forward and expose this injustice!

  2. Hi Tracy,

    I agree with you 100%, don’t think that the issue is only when you look for yourself… A lot of times when I call for my clients I’m getting these questions – It’s illegal to ask and it’s illegal for me to answer. These agents are taking a huge risk; they can lose their license and all that to “save” the landlord from paying to de-lead the property…

    I’m glad to hear that you took the time and filed a complaint. This is the only way to do it.

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