Landlord’s ‘no-kids’ notes deemed illegal
November 09, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
by Mass. Lawyers Weekly Staff
Mass. Lawyers Weekly
A Housing Court judge has awarded $15,000 to a tenant whose landlord attempted to evict him after leaving notes stating that his children were not welcome in the apartment complex.
Severin Kanyabigo lived in a two-bedroom apartment in Worcester with his minor children. Landlord Mary Senkowski repeatedly told the tenant that his children could not live with him in the unit and left notes in his apartment complaining about the children’s behavior, including a rent receipt that stated, “No children or overnight visitors.”
When Senkowski began eviction proceedings, Kanyabigo raised various counterclaims, including that the landlord’s statements violated G.L.c. 151B, §4(7B) and 42 U.S.C. §3604(c).
“[W]hatever the plaintiff’s intent may have been, these words express a discriminatory purpose,” Judge Diana H. Horan wrote. “G.L.c. 151B, §4(7B) specifically prohibits the printing of such statements.”
Kanyabigo was represented by Leticia Medina-Richman of Community Legal Aid. ▪