The Brooklyn Heights branch of Brown Harris Stevens has been hit with a class-action lawsuit accusing the brokerage firm with housing discrimination. The complaint is being made Jamie Katz and his wife Dr. Lisa Nocera who say that the firm steered them away from certain rental properties because they have a child. The suit is seeking to have Brown Harris Stevens to train their agents to comply with current Fair Housing laws and according to the New York Times “unspecified” damages.
New York Times: Couple’s Suit Alleges…: The Brown Harris broker who dealt with Dr. Nocera and Mr. Katz on the two Brooklyn Heights apartments, Aileen Truesdale, denied saying that the landlords would not rent to children and said she did not think she had done anything wrong.
“I would have said it was not kid-friendly based on there being lead paint issues,” Ms. Truesdale said by phone Thursday. “Wouldn’t that be a good enough reason?” In fact, the federal Fair Housing Act outlaws doing anything to discourage someone from renting an apartment based on family status, whether by steering the potential renter away or by outright refusal to rent. So do state and city human-rights laws.
BHS VP Brian Lehner is also mentioned in the suit but denies any wrong doing the Times says.