A Slidell landlord will stop managing all his rental properties and pay the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center $15,000 in damages to settle a federal discrimination lawsuit.
In its lawsuit, the consumer watchdog group alleged that Seven Stubenrach violated the Fair Housing Act by refusing to rent a Slidell apartment to African Americans. The center said it sent trained mystery shoppers posing as apartment seekers to ask about the apartment.
Each time an African-American shopper asked, Stubenrach said the apartment wasn’t available, according to the center. But during the same time period, Stubenrach invited three white mystery shoppers to inspect the apartment and apply to rent it.
Under the settlement, Stubenrach must turn over management of current and future properties to a professional property management firm. He must also undergo fair housing training and allow the Fair Housing Action Center to inspect rental records to make sure no housing discrimination is taking place.
“No one should be excluded from renting a home because of their race,” said James Perry, GNOFHAC executive director.
The settlement allowed the center to chip away at discriminatory housing practices, he said. Anyone who suspects they’ve been discriminated against because of their race while trying to rent a home should contact the center.