Group sues apartment complex

October 15, 1999|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF

A housing advocacy group filed a federal lawsuit yesterday accusing owners and operators of a Dundalk apartment complex of violating the federal Fair Housing Act by refusing to rent a one-bedroom apartment to a mother and child.

C. Christopher Brown, an attorney representing Michelle Wetzel and Baltimore Neighborhoods Inc., said Wetzel tried to lease a one-bedroom apartment in June for herself and her 2-year-old daughter, Brittany, but was told by a rental agent that she would have to rent a two-bedroom unit.

The Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits discrimination against tenants based on several criteria, including gender, race and parental status. Brown said that law was violated when Fairlawn Apartments in Dundalk penalized Wetzel for having a child.

The suit seeks $10,000 in compensatory damages and $50,000 in punitive damages from C & L Associates, a Baltimore-based company that runs the apartment complex, and the owners, E. L. Chapolini of Rosedale and Robert Lating of Baltimore.

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