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On September 6, 2011, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) held a Newton landlord liable for race discrimination against an African-American real estate broker after informing her that he would not rent to “blacks” or “Africans” and that “they were not welcome in the neighborhood.” The landlord also informed the broker that in the event he did rent to African-Americans, he would charge higher rent.  The broker, in addition to being African-American, is a resident of Newton.  MCAD awarded the broker emotional distress damages, and ordered the landlord to cease and desist his discriminatory conduct.


The Hearing Officer went on to say that “[w]hile in this case, the Complainant was not a bona fide home seeker, Respondent’s blatantly discriminatory statements and articulation of more restrictive and onerous terms and conditions for renting to African Americans, caused Complainant injury in her role as real estate agent and as a member of a protected class.”


In Massachusetts, it is illegal for a landlord to refuse to rent his or her property to an individual on the basis of that person’s race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, or sexual orientation, among other things.  If you feel you have been the subject of such discriminatory practices, please contact a qualified attorney at LaFountain & Wollman. P.C. at, or (617) 926-8944.

About the Author
Attorney Nicholas J. LaFountain has extensive experience litigating and negotiating civil disputes of many types. He has been successfully representing clients in the courtroom since 2004.