Coakley sues trio over housing bias

By Jenifer B. McKim
Globe Staff / January 6, 2011

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A Boston real estate management company, its agent, and a property owner are being sued by Attorney General Martha Coakley who says they violated the state’s antidiscrimination law. Coakley’s office filed a complaint in Suffolk Superior Court this week claiming that Mediate Management Company, agent Deborah Kooring, and property owner Fenway Buttrick LLC refused to renew a family’s lease on an apartment last year after the family asked that the property be inspected for lead contamination. A young child was living in the apartment at the time.

“Antidiscrimination law prohibits landlords and real estate professionals from refusing to rent to prospective tenants because they have children,’’ Coakley said. “It further requires them to comply with lead paint laws designed to protect young children from known health hazards.’’

The tenants filed a complaint in May with the Boston Fair Housing Commission and an inspection later found high levels of lead in the unit, the complaint said.

None of the defendants could be reached for comment.