MORGANTOWN - The West Virginia Human Rights Commission has sued Wincor Properties LLC on behalf of a woman who claimed it would not rent to her because she has children.
In July 2010, Latoya D. Jones responded to an advertisement for vacancies in a rental residential unit owned by Wincor in Morgantown and made an appointment to view the available rental unit on July 22, 2010, according to a complaint filed in Monongalia Circuit Court.
The WVHRC claims on July 22, 2010, Jones met with Roberta Corwin at WinCor's office and asked about the two-bedroom units.
Jones was accompanied by a third-party friend to the meeting, which prompted Corwin to ask if Jones and her friend would be roommates, and which she explained the second bedroom was not for a roommate, but for her two children, Corwin told her she would not rent to people with children, according to the suit.
The WVHRC claims the defendant refused to rent to Jones due to her familial status and, upon information and belief, has never rented units at the multi-unit complex to families with children.
Wincor engaged in an unlawful discriminatory housing practice prohibited by West Virginia code by making statements regarding the rental property which indicate rental preferences and/or an intention to make rental preferences related to familial status, according to the suit.
The WVHRC is seeking judgment against Wincor and compensation for Jones for actual damages; punitive damages and/or assessment of civil penalties; and injunctive relief requiring Wincor to cease and desist its discriminatory conduct. It is being represented by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Deputy Attorney General J. Robert Leslie and Assistant Attorney General Jerry F. Fowler II.