FL-Landlord Non-Renewal of Lease Discriminatory

This is a discussion on FL-Landlord Non-Renewal of Lease Discriminatory within the Landlord vs Tenant Issues forum, part of the REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY LAW category; I received a non-renewal of lease notice from my landlord. I have a 1-year lease and have paid my rent ...

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Old Apr 24th, 2011, 08:18 PM   #1
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Angry FL-Landlord Non-Renewal of Lease Discriminatory

I received a non-renewal of lease notice from my landlord. I have a 1-year lease and have paid my rent on time every month. I called the office and they could not give me a reason for non-renewal until the manager finally confessed that it was because of my teenager (who dresses hip-hop) hanging out in the common areas. This apartment complex is very snooty and they don't like the looks of certain people to be seen when visitors come through. The manager went on and on about how my teen uses the pool-room, uses the swimming pool, has friends over in the game room, etc. They all dress hip-hop. This manager even lied and said that he tried to call me to complain about it and I didn't respond, but I checked my phone records and I had no calls from the apartment office.

I wrote a letter to the apartment's attorney and stated what the manager said. The manager immediately called me to EMPHASIZE that it was NOT my son - despite listening to him go on on for 15 minutes the previous day about how it WAS my son. My thought is that this attorney called and told the manager that he had violated several federal laws and to cover his tracks with a bogus story.

Would I have a good case for discrimination against this manager? I spoke to another family that lives there whose son also dresses hip-hop and they also told him not to hang around the lobby.
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Old Apr 24th, 2011, 09:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: FL-Landlord Non-Renewal of Lease Discriminatory

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Originally Posted by manny55 View Post
I received a non-renewal of lease notice from my landlord. I have a 1-year lease and have paid my rent on time every month. I called the office and they could not give me a reason for non-renewal until the manager finally confessed that it was because of my teenager (who dresses hip-hop) hanging out in the common areas. This apartment complex is very snooty and they don't like the looks of certain people to be seen when visitors come through. The manager went on and on about how my teen uses the pool-room, uses the swimming pool, has friends over in the game room, etc. They all dress hip-hop. This manager even lied and said that he tried to call me to complain about it and I didn't respond, but I checked my phone records and I had no calls from the apartment office.

I wrote a letter to the apartment's attorney and stated what the manager said. The manager immediately called me to EMPHASIZE that it was NOT my son - despite listening to him go on on for 15 minutes the previous day about how it WAS my son. My thought is that this attorney called and told the manager that he had violated several federal laws and to cover his tracks with a bogus story.

Would I have a good case for discrimination against this manager? I spoke to another family that lives there whose son also dresses hip-hop and they also told him not to hang around the lobby.
Florida law does not require specific cause for non-renewal nor for terminating a month-to-month tenancy. The LL could have said he was not renewing because he disagrees that the sky is blue, and that would be fine too. You may not be happy, and it may not be right, but it's NOT illegal.

When you say the kids dress "hip hop", that usually translates into a gang style of dress. Whether or not you choose to believe it, this is how others might think. An apartment manager is quite probably thinking along those lines, and their actions may well be to try to curtail gang activity in the complex.

Unless you are being discriminated against for one of the federally protected classes, including age, disability, race, creed, religion, or sexual orientation, there's no lawsuit here for the non-renewal on the basis of a fashion choice, if that is all it is. There is no federal law against discrimination for bad fashion choices.
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 05:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: FL-Landlord Non-Renewal of Lease Discriminatory

We are Latino and the other family is Latino, too. That's why I think it's discrimination. They are good kids who don't get into trouble, not part of a gang...
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 05:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: FL-Landlord Non-Renewal of Lease Discriminatory

It is against federal law to discriminate against people because of their race or color AND a violation of federal law to discriminate or refuse housing to families with children under the age of 18.
With another family experiencing the same thing, you might be able to make a case on both counts.

If you supploement your question with the city in which you live, I will refer you to the proper agency.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 03:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: FL-Landlord Non-Renewal of Lease Discriminatory

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It is against federal law to discriminate against people because of their race or color AND a violation of federal law to discriminate or refuse housing to families with children under the age of 18.
With another family experiencing the same thing, you might be able to make a case on both counts.

If you supploement your question with the city in which you live, I will refer you to the proper agency.
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We are Latino and the other family is Latino, too. That's why I think it's discrimination. They are good kids who don't get into trouble, not part of a gang...
I honestly DON'T think it has anything to do with you being Latino or simply having kids under the age of 18. Otherwise, they never would have rented to you and the other family in the first place.

I do believe that the issue has to do with the "hip hop" style of dress. Many people honestly believe that those who dress this way MUST be part of a gang, whether or not they are. Or that the music and fashion attracts those who are in gangs. In many instances, that may very well be true, and even the APPEARANCE of impropriety alone can warrant the kinds of actions that the LL is taking. Their concern is not with how you and your kids feel about it, it is about the kind of people that such music and fashion tends to bring with them and protecting the rest of the rental complex community from such influences.

If you are absolutely certain about your kids and their friends, then perhaps a meeting with the management is in order to "enlighten" them about how good your kids are and how their choices of friends (who just happen to dress "hip hop") are made with good judgment and do not involve any connection to gangs. But if there is any possibility that these friends could be gang-related in any way, then it's time to have a discussion with the kids about the kinds of influences they are getting involved with and how it reflects upon their home environment.
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 12:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: FL-Landlord Non-Renewal of Lease Discriminatory

The apartment complex is 90% Caucasian. Only a few minority families live here. We were one of the original families to move in, right after they built it. Now it seems like they're trying to maintain their image as a "safe" and exclusive place for white folks to live (ie. no blacks or Latinos). The whole area is stuck-up and snooty. It is considered to be an exclusive area of town.

If they are showing apartments to people, they do not want "us" to be seen at the pool or in the game room. It's sad. The LL told me this in a roundabout way when he slipped on stating his reasons for not renewing the lease.

In term's of the hip-hop style of dress, there are plenty of college-age white guys walking around dressed the same. Or they are wearing shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops and no one has a problem with them.

The LL will just deny the statements he made to me, so gathering evidence from the other minority families is my only way to prove it.
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 01:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: FL-Landlord Non-Renewal of Lease Discriminatory

Veiled discrimination is a bad thing. It makes us all look bad.

But what is worse is someone using discrimination as a excuse to get their own way. Are you absolutely sure that you are not just seeing what you want and calling it discrimination? You are going to need SOLID PROOF before you can go into a court and sue someone for it.

I'm not saying you are wrong, I'm just asking you to check yourself and be absolutely certain that you are not trying to fit the circumstances to your situation to justify your defense. It happens all too often.
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 01:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: FL-Landlord Non-Renewal of Lease Discriminatory

I don't know if I even want to try and sue. I have other things I need to expend my energy on. The thing that bothers me is how it affects my son. He has done nothing wrong by his choice of dress. And if it happens to the young folks here, it's probably happening other places as well. They are tried and proven guilty based on race and manner of dress. It's distressing.

I will contact HUD to see what my options might be. I'm don't care about winning money. I don't want it to happen to another parent's kid.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 06:19 PM   #9
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It is against federal law to discriminate against people because of their race or color AND a violation of federal law to discriminate or refuse housing to families with children under the age of 18.
With another family experiencing the same thing, you might be able to make a case on both counts.

If you supploement your question with the city in which you live, I will refer you to the proper agency.

I live in Palm Coast. Landlord told reality company she drove by a few times and seen all kinds of kids running around. She now is sending the reality company for an inspection tomorrow before decidIng to renew the lease just doesn't seem right to me. I have less than 30 days to find another place if she decides not to renew. Which I happened to plan to renew
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