$197,500 Paid in an Apartment Discrimination Lawsuit

A couple from Temple, AZ who alleged they received discriminatory treatment from their apartment manager, were paid $197,500 in a settlement, the largest fair housing lawsuit settlement in the history of the civil division of Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

Hany Ibrahim and his wife Soha Abdelrahman moved into their apartment in Villatree in July 2006, at which time they were asked by their apartment manager about their ethnic background and religious affiliation. They were asked to fill out a second application after the first one was allegedly “lost”.

Once they moved in, the tenants complained about a maintenance worker entering their apartment without authorization or notification. The apartment manager then said: “This is our way. If you don’t like it, you can go back to where you came from,” according to the complaint. The apartment manager threatened them with retaliation, saying she would make their lives “miserable” if they ever decided to file a complaint about these incidents.

Things became even more challenging when the apartment manager told them their unit would be once again subject to an inspection. Soon after, the management insisted on the tenants signing a money order that belonged to the unit’s previous occupants.

Right after, the apartment manager tried to evict the tenants, claiming they had committed fraud. The couple was also accused of harassing other tenants and received notices threatening them with unwarranted eviction. They finally moved out in October 2006 and filed suit with the state.