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Using a phrase like "a great bachelor pad for any single man looking to hook up," might well get you into a spot of trouble, but not the kind you think. The Connor Group, owners and management company for nearly 1,900 rental units in the Dayton, Ohio, area reportedly used that tag line to advertise their rentals on craigslist.com and wound up with a lawsuit from the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center. The lawsuit seeks $25,000 in damages and fees and asks for fair housing training to become mandatory for the Group's employees.
The Fair Housing Center is a non-profit dedicated to promoting fair housing practices. As part of their work, the center regularly reviews housing ads in the area that might indicate unfair practices and the bachelor pad ad caught their eye. According to the suit, this ad indicated a preference for a single male renter. Other ads placed by the Connor group seemed to indicate a pattern, according to Housing Center's claims, that "families were not welcome."
The Dayton Daily News reports that after the ad appeared last April, the Fair Housing Center filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in May, which in turn, asked the Civil Rights Commission to investigate. The investigation was completed by November, with the Commission finding it "probable" the Connor was engaging in discriminatory practices. The head of the Commission stated that they had tried to resolve the allegations informally during the investigation, but had been unsuccessful.
According to the Daily News, since coming into the Dayton area in 1991, the Connor Group and has grown to include more than 400 employees with properties in Atlanta, Dallas, Columbus and Cincinnati. The company claims to have $1 billion in assets.
Representatives with The Connor Group did not return a call from the News for comment.