The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Credit: Photo courtesy of HUD

The owner and agent overseeing a Manchester rental property will pay a total of $18,000 as part of a deal with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the agency announced Wednesday.

The department claimed Page Realty LLC and its rental agent, Ramona Venskus, refused to rent to families with children, violating the Fair Housing Act.

In a consent order resolving the claims, Page Realty will pay $5,000 and Venskus will pay $13,000 to Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Inc., although the order does not constitute an admission of guilt by either one.

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“It’s hard enough for families to find places to live that meet their needs without being denied suitable housing because they have children,” said Anna María Farías, the department’s assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity, in a statement. “HUD is committed to working to ensure that housing providers comply with their Fair Housing Act obligation to treat all applicants the same, including families with children.”

Pine Tree Legal Assistance filed a complaint against Page Realty and Venskus after they allegedly posted advertisements saying that children were not allowed in their property and then refused to negotiate with “fair housing testers posing as families with children,” the agency announcement said.

Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.