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Coldwell Banker to pay settlement for alleged discrimination

By Legal News Line | Feb 19, 2015

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey | Massachusetts Attorney General

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage reached a settlement with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy on Wednesday over allegations that it discriminated against renters with children.

The real estate company will create new anti-discrimination policies and some of its agents will be required to attend fair housing training. The company also will pay approximately $17,500 to the commonwealth, including $5,000 for the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

The settlement follows allegations that Coldwell Banker agent Matthew Gore posted rental ads on Craigslist that discouraged families with children from applying. 

Gore allegedly led prospective tenants with children to believe that landlords wouldn’t remove lead from rental property. Fair housing tests by the Suffolk University Housing Discrimination Testing Program discovered that Gore participated in a pattern of this type of discrimination.

“Families with children are protected under Massachusetts law and have the right to live in housing where lead hazards have been abated,” Healey said. “Massachusetts Realtors must understand that they cannot steer families with children away from available housing because of a landlord’s refusal to comply with the lead laws.”

Gore is among the Caldwell Banker agents who will be required to attend fair housing training. 

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Massachusetts Attorney General's Office