Complex Prohibited Pregnant Residents
TUCSON - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced today that the Arizona Attorney General's Office Civil Rights Division (“Civil Rights Division”) has settled a case against TBM Equities, LLC d/b/a Sahara Apartments (“Sahara Apartments”). Sahara Apartments operates an apartment complex exclusively for students near the University of Arizona in Tucson.
The Tucson Civil Rights Division brought a charge of housing discrimination against Sahara Apartments after viewing an example lease agreement on the apartment complex’s website. A portion of the lease agreement read:
“If you are female and become pregnant while you are a resident of Sahara Apartments, you must vacate the apartment upon or prior to the birth of your child and pay any unpaid balance of your Contract Price.”
The Civil Rights Division alleged that Sahara Apartments discriminated based on familial status and sex in violation of the Arizona Fair Housing Act.
“The conduct in the case was unacceptable and quite frankly outrageous," said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "Our Civil Rights Division works tirelessly to enforce the law and fight for individuals who have been discriminated against. If you have been discriminated against, or know someone who has been discriminated against, my office is dedicated to investigating, exposing, and remedying unlawful acts of discrimination.”
As a result of the Conciliation Agreement, Sahara Apartments:
- was assessed a $2,000 civil penalty,
- agreed to create a policy that prohibits discrimination and retaliation per the Arizona Fair Housing Act,
- shall provide written notice to all current tenants that the offending paragraph is void and no longer in effect,
- shall ensure that the offending language will not be included in new leases, and
- is required to have all managers attend fair housing discrimination training.
A copy of the Conciliation Agreement is available. The Attorney General can make public the Conciliation Agreement if he determines disclosure would further the purposes of the Arizona Fair Housing Act.
Arizona law protects your right to have a place to live and makes it unlawful for any person to discriminate in connection with housing because of an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or physical or mental disability. Additionally, Arizona's Fair Housing statutes make it illegal to discriminate against someone because they are pregnant.
The mission of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office Civil Rights Division is to enforce civil rights laws, increase public awareness of civil rights, provide dispute resolution services, and offer community services throughout the State. If you feel you’ve been discriminated against in housing, employment, public accommodations, or voting, please contact our office at (602) 542-5263 or submit an intake questionnaire at https://www.azag.gov/complaints/civil-rights.