Town of East Hampton, CT
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Selectmen of the Town of East Hampton 12-27-1979 (Ord. No. 10.04). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Housing Code — See Ch. 219.
It is the policy of the Town of East Hampton to safeguard all individuals within the Town from discrimination because of race, color, religious creed, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, age, present or past history of mental disorder, mental retardation, sexual orientation, learning or physical disability, political activity, union activity or exercise of rights protected by the United States Constitution in connection with housing; thereby to protect their interest in personal dignity and freedom from humiliation, to make available to the Town their full production capacities, to secure the Town against strife and unrest which would menace its democratic institutions and to preserve the public safety and general welfare.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DISCRIMINATE
To cause any difference in treatment based on race, color, religious creed, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, age, present or past history of mental disorder, mental retardation, sexual orientation, learning or physical disability, political activity, union activity or exercise of rights protected by the United States Constitution, and includes segregation based upon any of the foregoing categories.[1]
FAIR HOUSING OFFICER
The person responsible for accepting and acting upon housing discrimination complaints. The Fair Housing Officer shall be the Town Manager or a duly appointed representative of the Town Manager.
FAIR HOUSING REVIEW COMMITTEE
A committee established to assist the Fair Housing Officer in the review of housing discrimination complaints. "Review Committee" means the Fair Housing Review Committee.
HOUSING ACCOMMODATION
Any dwelling, housing unit, structure, or portion thereof, including mobile manufactured homes and mobile manufactured home park lots, used or to be used for residential purposes.[2]
OWNER
Any person having or exercising the right to sell, rent, or lease any housing accommodation.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
In connection with any of the transactions set forth in this section which affect any housing accommodation on the open market, or in connection with any public sale, purchase, exchange, rental or lease of any housing accommodation, it shall be a prohibited unlawful practice for a person, owner, financial institution, real estate broker or real estate salesman, or any representative of the above, to:
A. 
Refuse to sell, purchase, exchange, rent or lease, or otherwise deny to or withhold any housing accommodation or real estate from a person because of his race, color, religious creed, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, age, present or past history of mental disorder, mental retardation, sexual orientation, learning or physical disability, political activity, union activity or exercise of rights protected by the United States Constitution; or[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
To discriminate against a person in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale, financing, purchase, exchange, rental or lease of any housing accommodation or real estate, or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection therewith; or
C. 
To refuse to receive or transmit a bona fide offer to sell, purchase, exchange, rent or lease any housing accommodation from or to a person because of his race, color, religious creed, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, age, present or past history of mental disorder, mental retardation, sexual orientation, learning or physical disability, political activity, union activity or exercise of rights protected by the United States Constitution; or[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
D. 
To refuse to negotiate for the sale, purchase, exchange, rental, or lease of any housing accommodation to a person because of his race, color, religious creed, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, age, present or past history of mental disorder, mental retardation, sexual orientation, learning or physical disability, political activity, union activity or exercise of rights protected by the United States Constitution; or[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
E. 
To represent to a person that any housing accommodation is not available for inspection, sale, purchase, exchange, rental or lease when it is known to such person, owner, financial institution, real estate broker or real estate salesman, or representatives of any of them, that, in fact, it is so available, or to refuse to permit a person to inspect any housing accommodation because of his race, color, religious creed, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, age, present or past history of mental disorder, mental retardation, sexual orientation, learning or physical disability, political activity, union activity or exercise of rights protected by the United States Constitution; or[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
F. 
To discriminate against a person by failing or refusing to show housing accommodations which are listed for sale or rental; or
G. 
To retaliate against a person because he has filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, hearing or conference under this chapter by adjusting his rental, by failing to provide proper services, or by refusing to deal with such person.
The provisions of the chapter shall not apply:
A. 
To the rental or lease of any housing units in a housing accommodation for not more than two families living independently of each other, if the owner or members of his family reside in one of such housing accommodations; or
B. 
To the rental of a room or rooms in a housing accommodation, if such rental is by the occupant of the housing accommodation, or by the owner of the housing accommodation and he or members of his family reside in such housing accommodation; or
C. 
With respect to the prohibition of sex discrimination, shall not apply to rental of sleeping accommodations provided on a temporary or permanent basis for the exclusive use of persons of the same sex.
The administration and enforcement of this chapter shall be the responsibility of the Fair Housing Officer, and he/she shall have full operating responsibility for carrying out the provisions of this chapter. In addition to any powers or duties heretofore conferred on said officer, he/she shall have the power and duty to:
A. 
Meet and exercise his/her powers at any place within the Town of East Hampton for the purpose of implementing and administering this chapter.
B. 
Seek the advice and/or services of the Town Counsel, if deemed necessary; and appoint and empower a Fair Housing Review Committee to assist in effecting the purposes and provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Accept gifts, or bequests, grants or other payments, public or private, and duly recorded as such, to help finance its activities.
D. 
Receive, initiate, investigate, seek to conciliate, hold hearings on and pass upon complaints alleging violations of this chapter.
E. 
Hold hearings, administer oaths and take the testimony of any person under oath.
F. 
Issue remedial orders requiring cessation of violation of this chapter, or requiring such affirmative action as in the judgment of the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee will carry out the purposes of this chapter, including, where appropriate, an order forbidding the sale, transfer or leasing of any housing accommodation, or ordering the sale or leasing of a housing accommodation to a person found to have been denied the rights protected by this chapter.
G. 
Apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for such temporary and/or permanent relief as it deems necessary, and for judicially sanctioned enforcement of any order properly issued under Subsection F.
H. 
With the approval of the Town Council, adopt, promulgate, amend and rescind rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this chapter, including regulations requiring the posting of notices prepared or approved by the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee.
A. 
Initiating proceedings.
(1) 
Any person or persons claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful practice prohibited by this chapter may file a written complaint in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Fair Housing Officer. No complaint hereunder may be filed later than 30 days after the aggrieved person becomes aware of the alleged unlawful practice, nor, in any event, more than 60 days after the alleged unlawful practice occurred. Within the above time limitations, any member of the Fair Housing Review Committee who has reason to believe an unlawful practice has occurred may file a complaint, naming the Committee itself or the Fair Housing Officer as the party complainant.
(2) 
Anything in this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding, in the event that any proceeding is instituted before the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities growing out of substantially the same facts, no complaint shall be acted upon by the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee, and any action already undertaken upon a complaint shall be suspended. In the event of the institution of such a proceeding, the action of the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities shall be final.
B. 
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Fair Housing Officer shall serve the complaint and a written statement setting forth the rights of the parties and the procedures to be followed by the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee in the investigation and adjudication of the complaint upon the person or persons charged with a violation of this chapter (hereinafter referred to as the "respondent").
C. 
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee shall conduct a preliminary investigation of the complaint and shall prepare a written report within 21 days after service of the complaint on the respondent.
D. 
The Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee shall, within 10 days after completion of the report of the preliminary investigation, determine whether there is probable cause to believe that an unlawful practice has been committed.
(1) 
If the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee determines that there is no such probable cause, the complaint shall be dismissed.
(2) 
If the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee determines that there is such probable cause, the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee shall make an effort to eliminate the unlawful practice by conference and conciliation, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
E. 
Within 30 days after the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee has determined that probable cause exists, unless an order has been issued dismissing the complaint or stating the terms of a conciliation agreement, a hearing shall be called and held by the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee.
F. 
In any proceedings under this section, the respondent may file a written answer to the complaint and may appear at the hearing in person or otherwise, with or without counsel, and may submit evidence and be heard. The Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee, in conducting any hearing, may permit reasonable amendments to any complaint or answer, and any testimony taken at the hearing shall be under oath and shall be fully transcribed, electronically or otherwise, as determined by the Fair Housing Officer.
G. 
Any endeavors or negotiations for conciliation shall not be received in evidence, and shall be held confidential by the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee.
H. 
Upon the conclusion of the hearing, the decision of the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee shall be communicated to the complainant(s) and respondent.
I. 
Proceedings may be reopened upon petition of any aggrieved party, except that an application to reopen must be filed within 10 days of service of the Fair Housing Officer's and/or Review Committee's decision upon such aggrieved party; provided, however, that any order previously entered by the Fair Housing Officer shall not be stayed by such petition except upon decision of the Fair Housing Officer or vote of the Fair Housing Review Committee if such Committee has been appointed.
J. 
All hearings held under and pursuant to this chapter shall be open to the public.
K. 
In computing time or periods of time under this chapter, Sundays and national and state holidays shall be excluded.
L. 
All papers or pleadings required by this chapter shall be served personally, by abode service, or by certified mail as directed by the Fair Housing Officer.
M. 
At any time after a complaint has been filed, the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee may file an action in any court of competent jurisdiction seeking appropriate temporary relief against the respondent.
N. 
At any time after a complaint has been filed, the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee may file an action in a court of competent jurisdiction seeking such appropriate relief against any person as it may deem necessary to prevent any change of position between the complainant(s) and the respondent.
O. 
The Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee may file suit in a court of competent jurisdiction seeking enforcement of any of its orders issued pursuant to this chapter.
Any respondent or complainant aggrieved by a final order of the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee, or any complainant aggrieved by the dismissal of his complaint by the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee, may obtain a review of such order in a court of competent jurisdiction by filing with the Clerk of said Court, within 30 days after service upon him of said order, a written petition in duplicate praying that such order be modified or set aside, and by serving a duplicate copy of the petition on the Fair Housing Officer. The Fair Housing Officer shall then cause to be filed in said court a certified transcript of the record in the proceedings before it, including the pleadings, testimony and order.
A. 
If the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee finds that any person has committed an unlawful practice as defined in this chapter, it may subject such person to a fine not exceeding $100 per offense, and each day of violation of this chapter shall be deemed a separate offense. The Fair Housing Officer may, if such person refuses to pay the fine, file an action in a court of competent jurisdiction for the collection thereof.
B. 
If a real estate broker, a real estate salesman or an employee thereof has failed to comply with any order issued by the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee, or has been found to have committed an unlawful practice in violation of this chapter, the Fair Housing Officer may so notify in writing the Real Estate Commission of the State of Connecticut.
C. 
Should the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee determine at any time that a complaint filed with it alleging a violation of this chapter was filed in bad faith, the Fair Housing Officer shall forthwith issue an order requiring the complainant(s) to pay to the respondent the amount of the reasonable expenses caused the respondent by the filing of said complaint, including reasonable attorney's fees; and such order may be enforced in the same manner as any other order issued by the Fair Housing Officer and/or Review Committee pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.