A Buffalo, New York landlord just learned this lesson after placing a Craigslist ad for an apartment in a "nice Irish neighborhood." He didn't write "Irish only" (clear discrimination) or "Irish preferred" (direct preferential discrimination), but his decision to use the language he did implies he would give tenants of a certain national origin, people of Irish descent, favorable treatment. Stated differently, people reading the ad who aren't of Irish descent may feel discouraged from applying, expecting that they wouldn't be welcome.
According to a report today from The Buffalo News, the landlord, without admitting liability, signed a settlement agreement with the New York State Division of Human Rights agreeing to pay $1,000 for the alleged bias in his ad.
Interesting to note:
- While under investigation for the offending ad, the landlord reportedly made discriminatory statements to testers in violation of the FHA's ban on race and familial-status discrimination. One white tester claims the landlord told her "there are no coloreds here... I hope your husband isn't black," and two testers reported that the landlord asked about their children.