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PREDETERMINATION SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
PARTIES TO THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT:
P O Box 115
Melcher, Iowa 50163
P O Box 115
Melcher, Iowa 50163
7209 SE 5th Street Apartment 73
Des Moines, IA 50315
IOWA CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION
400 East 14th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Description of the Parties: Complainant Jessica Summy alleged Respondents discriminated against her family by changing the terms and conditions of her rental due to familial status. On September 2, 2011, Complainant and her boyfriend signed a lease agreement and Complainant told Respondents two children would reside with them. On September 9, 2011, Complainant and her boyfriend moved into the rental unit with six children. Complainant alleged when Respondents learned six children would reside at the dwelling instead of two they subsequently demanded an extra $800 deposit, $100 additional rent per month and required monthly inspections of the subject property. On September 11, 2011, Complainant and her boyfriend moved out of the subject property alleging constructive eviction. Respondents alleged the subject property did not meet square footage requirements for “Habitable Space” for eight occupants as defined by the City of Des Moines’ rental code and occupancy standards. Respondents own and manage the subject property, a single dwelling home, located at 1105 Wade Street, Des Moines, IA 50315.
A complaint having been filed by Complainant against Respondents with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission (hereafter referred to as the Commission) under Iowa Code Chapter 216 and there having been a preliminary inquiry, the parties do hereby agree and settle the above-captioned matter in the following extent and manner:
Acknowledgment of Fair Housing Law
1. Respondents agree there shall be no discrimination, harassment, or retaliation of any kind against Complainant or any other person for filing a charge under Iowa Code Chapter 216; or because of giving testimony or assistance, or participating in any manner in any investigation, proceeding or hearing under Iowa Code Chapter 216; or because of lawful opposition to any practice forbidden under Iowa Code Chapter 216.
2. Respondents acknowledge Federal and State Fair Housing Laws make it unlawful to discriminate against another person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with the dwelling because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability, or familial status.
42 .S.C. 3604(b); Iowa Code § 216.8(1)(b).
3. Respondents acknowledge that under Federal and State Fair Housing Laws Landlords may not charge higher rents or deposits for families with children. Landlords should not charge additional fees per person, unless the landlord pays the utilities and there is a reasonable correlation between the fees and the actual costs of the utilities.
Voluntary and Full Settlement
4. The parties acknowledge this Predetermination Settlement Agreement is a voluntary and full settlement of the disputed complaint. The parties affirm they have read and fully understand the terms set forth herein. No party has been coerced, intimidated, threatened or in any way forced to become a party to this Agreement.
5. The parties enter into this Agreement in a good faith effort to amicably resolve existing disputes. The execution of this Agreement is not an admission of any wrongdoing or violation of law. Nor is the execution of this Agreement an admission by Complainant that any claims asserted in her complaint are not fully meritorious.
6. The parties agree the execution of this Agreement may be accomplished by separate counterpart executions of this Agreement. The parties agree the original executed signature pages will be attached to the body of this Agreement to constitute one document.
7. Respondents agree the Commission may review compliance with this Agreement. And as part of such review, Respondents agree the Commission may examine witnesses, collect documents, or require written reports, all of which will be conducted in a reasonable manner by the Commission.
8. The parties agree the terms of this Agreement shall be subject to public disclosure unless Complainant and Respondents agree otherwise, and the Commission determines that disclosure is not necessary to further the purposes of Iowa Code Chapter 216 relating to unfair or discriminatory practices in housing or real estate.
9. Complainant hereby waives, releases, and covenants not to sue Respondents with respect to any matters which were, or might have been alleged as charges filed with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Department of Housing and Urban Development, or any other anti-discrimination agency, and with regard to any and all other matters, subject to performance by Respondents of the promises and representations contained herein. Complainant agrees any complaint filed with any other anti-discrimination agency, including the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Department of Housing and Urban Development, which involves the issues in this complaint, shall be closed as Satisfactorily Adjusted.
Fair Housing Training
10. Respondents agree James and Joyce Spicer will receive training on the requirements of State and Federal Fair Housing Laws within 90 days of their receipt of a Closing Letter from the Commission. The training will address all aspects of fair housing law, but will emphasize the law regarding the prohibition of discrimination against families with children. The training shall be conducted by a qualified person, approved by the Commission or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Respondent also agrees to send documentation to the Commission, verifying the fair housing training has been completed, to the attention of Don Grove, Supervisor of Investigations, within ten (10) days of completing the training.
Relief for Complainant
11. Respondents agree to release Complainant from the terms of her rental agreement effective September 9, 2011. Respondents agree not to seek any monies from Complainant for terminating her rental agreement before its expiration date. Complainant acknowledges Respondents have already returned her $890 rental deposit as part of this Settlement Agreement.
12. Respondents agree to pay Jessica Summy $225, less no deductions. Respondents agree to send the check to Complainant at the above address within seven (7) days of Respondents’ receipt of a Closing Letter from the Commission.
Respondents also agree to send a copy of the check to the Commission, to the attention of Don Grove, Supervisor of Investigations, within seven (7) days of dispersing the monies. Respondents will also send supporting documentation to the Commission, detailing the disposition of Complainant’s security deposit.
Joyce Spicer, RESPONDENT Date
James Spicer, RESPONDENT Date
Jessica Summy, COMPLAINANT Date
Beth Townsend, DIRECTOR Date
IOWA CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION
Total value to C $1,315