Douglas Elliman Real Estate is one of three realtors in the metropolitan area to have reached settlements with New York State over charges of housing discrimination against the poor, state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced Monday.
He said investigators from his office, working undercover, were “twice told” by Douglas Elliman representatives “that Section 8 and other government assistance programs would not be accepted at certain properties” in Nassau County.
The company had several listings in the county that indicated “current employment” was required for renters.
Both practices are violations of fair housing laws, Schneiderman said.
Douglas Elliman has agreed to pay a $35,000 fine and have its employees attend a fair housing training program. The real estate company, one of Long Island’s largest, already has a written policy prohibiting housing discrimination.
“Douglas Elliman does not and will not condone discrimination in any form and fully cooperated with the attorney general in its investigation,” a company spokeswoman said Monday.
The Douglas Elliman case originated with a random check of realtors after Schneiderman’s office received a complaint about another business last year: Empire State Equities, which manages properties in Manhattan and the Bronx.
Empire State Equities and Crifasi Real Estate, which handles properties in New York City and Westchester County, also have reached settlements with Schneiderman.