Judge says landlord, realty firm should pay $25K penalty for transgender discrimination

An administration law judge in New York found that Giana Desir was unable to rent an apartment because of her transition from male to female

TRD New York /
Jun.June 22, 2019 01:00 PM
Giana Desir

Giana Desir

A judge recommended that a landlord and realty company pay $25,000 for discriminating against a transgender woman seeking an apartment in Brooklyn.

The ruling by administration law judge John B. Spooner favored Giana Desir, who started her transition from male to female in 2013, the New York Daily News reported.

The judge ruled on a complaint on her behalf that the New York City Commission on Human Rights filed in 2016 against landlord Henry Walter and Empire State Realty and Management.

Desir struggled to find rental housing in Brooklyn after her apartment lease expired in 2015 and an unnamed landlord declined to renew it, according to the New York Daily News.

When she met with Walter, he suggested that Desir wait until her transition to female was complete before trying to rent an apartment.

According to the judge’s summary of the case, Walter told Desir he was unable to rent her an apartment where she would be “around people and children.”

Desir said Walter was the fifth landlord who told her apartments were available, then said none were after meeting her in person and learning that she was transgender.

Trial evidence showed that Walter and Empire Realty violated the City Human Rights Law by refusing to rent an apartment to Desir because she is transgender, Spooner wrote, the New York Daily news reported.

The administration law judge recommended a $10,000 civil penalty and a $15,000 compensatory fine, plus an order that the landlord and realty firm under anti-discrimination training. [New York Daily News] – Mike Seemuth


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