Queens firm charged with violating fair housing act

TRD New York /
Oct.October 07, 2011 04:53 PM

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has charged a Queens residential real estate firm and one of its brokers with violating the Fair Housing Act by placing an advertisement on Craigslist that discriminated against families with children, according to HUD.

According to the allegations, Roberto Tristaino, then agent with MetroNet Realty in Old Howard Beach, placed the ads for a two-bedroom rental apartment in Bergen Beach on Craigslist in September and October 2008 with the note “mature couple or single without children” in the description.

Such descriptions violate the Fair Housing Act, which forbids any “preference, limitation or discrimination” based on familial status,” HUD indicated in the release.

“Advertising that discriminates against families with children is against the law, whether it’s in print or online. Real estate professionals are expected to know the law,” John Trasviña, HUD’s assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity, said in a statement.

There have been several similar cases in New York City recently. The Corcoran Group, for example, chose to ban certain terms from their advertisements, while other firms have run into problems with possible racial discrimination or advertisements about the schools in the area.

The specific case in the charge was included in a 2009 report by the National Fair Housing Alliance titled “For rent: No kids: How Internet housing advertisements perpetuate discrimination.” NFHA, a Washington D.C. based advocacy-group, is the complainant in the case.

Tristaino, now an agent for Fillmore Real Estate in Brooklyn, told The Real Deal that he did not post the ads and that somebody had broken into his account. “It was some kind of mistake,” he said. “Somebody went into my Craigslist account… it got broken into, and they made the ad without my authorization.”

Tristaino said he had problems with his account after receiving what he later realized were scam emails instructing him to log in to his account and that he had to make a new one as a result. He said he had sent information to HUD showing that his account was broken into.

Fillmore and Joseph Barretta, owner of MetroNet Realty, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

According to the charge, HUD’s effort to conciliate the complaint was unsuccessful. HUD’s charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party to the charge elects to have the case heard in federal district court.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Housing and Urban Development secretary Ben Carson (Getty; iStock)

CoreLogic’s screening algorithm may have discriminated against renters: lawsuit

CoreLogic’s screening algorithm may have discriminated against renters: lawsuit
HUD's Lynne Patton and of Frederick Douglass Houses resident Claudia Perez (Getty; RNC)

NYCHA tenants say they were duped into RNC video appearance

NYCHA tenants say they were duped into RNC video appearance
President Trump (Getty, iStock)

Trump repeals HUD rule in bid to win over the ‘burbs

Trump repeals HUD rule in bid to win over the ‘burbs
HUD Secretary Ben Carson (Credit: Carson via Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

HUD shortchanged New York on relief funds: advocates

HUD shortchanged New York on relief funds: advocates
President Donald Trump and HUD secretary Ben Carson (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump suspends HUD evictions, foreclosures amid coronavirus pandemic

Trump suspends HUD evictions, foreclosures amid coronavirus pandemic
34-08 30th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Lawsuit accuses Astoria landlord, super of turning away blacks

Lawsuit accuses Astoria landlord, super of turning away blacks
Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)

De Blasio to test brokers, owners for housing discrimination

De Blasio to test brokers, owners for housing discrimination
The Sand Castle apartment complex at 7-11 Seagirt Ave in Far Rockaway (Credit: Google Maps)

Queens landlords settle record $1M discrimination case

Queens landlords settle record $1M discrimination case
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...