The following story is from the Small Property Owners Association Newsletter Febraury 2009.

A Roslindale landlord wanted to rent one of his units in his triple-decker. He posted an ad on Craigslist in his own name, address and phone number. A woman called regarding the apartment and said she had a two year old, the landlord said: “I don’t think you want to live here. I’ve got lead paint.”

The woman was very persisted, however, and kept asking to see the apartment. “Why would you come and see it if you have a two-year old and I have lead paint.” the owner asked.

The woman kept calling and calling and insisting, and the landlord finally agreed to let her view the apartment.

The woman worked for Boston Fair Housing Commission (BFHC) and two weeks latter, the landlord received a letter from the BFHC imposing a fine. His punishment a $2,500.00 fine, taking a course on discrimination, and a requirement to list any and all vacant apartments with the Metro Boston Housing Partnership until 2011.

Here’s my question:
Do you think justice was served? Or do you think this is nothing more than goverment entrapment?

According to this newsletter what the landlord should have done, according to the law, was to rent her the apartment if she was qualified. Delead the apt and pay her rent in another apt while it was being deleaded.

I wonder how many landlord’s can actually afford to pursue the letter of the law in the above case? One point of interest, if the woman was a real renter, it would actually have been cheaper for this landlord to break the law than to obey it.

Another point of interest – the landlord was a diabled retiree.

Any thoughts?

Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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