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Cambridge landlord to pay $25,000 to settle discrimination allegations

Posted by Brock Parker  January 17, 2013 02:34 PM

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The owner of a Cambridge apartment building has agreed to pay $25,000 to settle allegations that its former trustee retaliated against a tenant who filed a housing discrimination complaint against the landlord.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office announced Thursday that Ware Hall Trust, which owns a 60-unit apartment building on Ware Street, allegedly discriminated against a family with a young child in an effort to avoid an obligation to remove lead paint hazards.

State law requires landlords to abate lead paint hazards in apartments where children under the age of six reside, and landlords can not discriminate against tenants because they have children.

Coakley’s office filed suit against Ware Hall Trust in September 2011 after the Cambridge Human Rights Commission found probable cause to a discrimination complaint filed by the family.

According to the attorney general’s office, Ware Hall Trust and former trustee and property manager Marina Kaufman, failed to abate lead hazards in the family’s apartment, disproportionately increased the family’s rent, refused to accept rental payments and refused to renew the family’s lease.

The former superintendent of the building also allegedly harassed the family after they filed the complaint with the Cambridge Human Rights Commission, according to the attorney general’s office.

Under the terms of the settlement reached Tuesday, Ware Hall Trust will pay $10,000 to the City of Cambridge, $5,000 to the family and $10,000 to the Commonwealth. Ware Hall Trust must also relocate the family and delead the apartment where they currently reside, according to Coakley's office.

--brock.globe@gmail.com

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