LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A local mom says she is finding it increasingly difficult to rent an apartment.
Gina Dantico is a single mother.READ MORE: 3-Alarm Blaze Rips Through Abandoned Covina School
One prospective landlord recently texted her that having a child makes her a liability.
That is illegal.
KCAL9’s Andrea Fujii sat down with Dantico Wednesday night to talk about her struggle to find a place for her and 20-month-old son Slate, the love of her life.
“He is amazing,” she says.
Dantico says raising her son alone is hard and presents challenges — he requires a bit more care — he has autism. But she doesn’t believe having a child should keep people from renting to her.
“They kind of look at me, look at him, and go … Oh. You kind of get that tense, strange feeling,” Dantico says.
She told Fujii she can’t afford the rising rent when her lease expires so she’s been looking for new places around the Valley for several months.
After meeting about five different landlords, they all told her no.
One landlord — she didn’t want to identify — even texted her his reasoning.READ MORE: Protests Continue Outside Sigma Nu House On USC's Fraternity Row As New Sexual Assault Allegations Emerge
“Although she really liked you — her children have advised her not to rent to anyone with children due to liability. I am sorry it did not work out.”
CBS2 and KCAL9 Legal Analyst Steve Meister says under federal law, that is illegal.
“Someone who turns away a family with a kid from a place to live better have a very compelling reason,” he says, “otherwise they’re going to have been found to have broken the law.”
More than anything, Gina says it’s hurtful.
“That your child is a liability, it’s just heartbreaking,” she says.
Short of filing a lawsuit, Meister says Dantico can file a federal complaint with HUD — the office of Housing and Urban Development.
With only a few weeks left to find a new place, Dantico says she hopes to find a landlord that will welcome her and her son.
“We’re really coming at the end of our stretch here and I don’t know what we’re going to do,” she says.
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