June 24, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

City Files Lawsuit Against Landlord Over Alleged Discrimination and Harassment

Santa Monica’s Housing Anti-discrimination Ordinance Prohibits Discrimination by Landlords Against Tenants With Disabilities

The City of Santa Monica’s Attorney’s Office Consumer Protection Unit has filed a lawsuit against Masoud Atef, a landlord of a rent-controlled property, alleging violations of local laws protecting tenants against housing discrimination and harassment, according to a City news release.

The city alleges that Atef intentionally discriminated against a tenant with a disability. The tenant, who is immunocompromised and has lived at the property since 2021, requested multiple times in the past year for reasonable accommodation to remediate toxic mold in her unit and to be temporarily relocated during the process. Atef allegedly refused the request, stating that his building is not suitable for tenants with “special conditions” or those with respiratory issues.

Santa Monica’s Housing Anti-Discrimination Ordinance prohibits discrimination by landlords against tenants with disabilities. The ordinance requires landlords to make reasonable accommodations for disabled tenants, prohibits discriminatory statements, and forbids making rental units unavailable due to a tenant’s disability.

The complaint also alleges that Atef has harassed tenants in multiple units at the property, including demanding tenants move out without legal basis, demanding entry without notice, yelling at tenants in front of their children, and cutting off access to common areas in retaliation for exercising their legal rights.

The city’s lawsuit seeks a court order to prevent future harassment and discrimination, mandate fair housing training for Atef, grant the tenant’s accommodation request, and restore housing services. The suit also seeks monetary damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and other relief.

in Hard, News
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