Coakley sues landlord

Keith Loria Feb. 16, 2011, 4:17am


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced on Wednesday that she has filed a lawsuit against a property owner who allegedly violated state anti-discrimination laws.

Keith L. Miller of Newton, Mass., also allegedly committed lead paint, consumer protection and housing law violations in the approximately 24 residential rental units he manages throughout the state.

Coakley alleges that Miller engaged in numerous discriminatory and retaliatory practices against tenants with young children as a way to avoid his obligation to comply with lead paint laws in the state.

"Tenants with young children have a right to housing that is free of lead paint hazards, and landlords have a responsibility to provide safe housing under state law," Coakley said. "Massachusetts law prohibits landlords from evicting or otherwise discriminating against tenants because they have children."

Coakley also alleges that Miller put tenants' health and well-being at risk and retaliated against anyone who reported his unscrupulous actions.

The suit alleges that Miller evicted or threatened to evict tenants with young children, rented apartments containing lead paint to those with young children, and failed to clean up lead hazards or provide lead hazard notices to many of the tenants.

Coakley is seeking injunctive relief and damages for anyone who was harmed due to Miller's alleged discriminatory and unlawful actions.

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