AG Platkin, Division on Civil Rights Reach Settlement in Four Housing Discrimination Cases Against Coldwell Banker Realty

Settlements Include $40,000 in Penalties for Alleged Violations of the LAD’s Prohibition of Discrimination Based on Source of Lawful Income

For Immediate Release: June 7, 2024

Office of the Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
Division on Civil Rights
– Sundeep Iyer, Director

For Further Information:

Media Inquiries-
Tara Oliver

TRENTON — Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced today that the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) has resolved four cases alleging that Coldwell Banker Realty, a real estate brokerage company, violated the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination’s (LAD) prohibition against housing discrimination based on source of lawful income. Under the LAD, housing providers cannot refuse to rent to potential tenants or discourage them from renting because they receive government rental assistance.

In each of the four cases, the Housing Rights Initiative (HRI) – a non-profit housing watchdog group that conducts tests to detect housing discrimination – filed complaints with DCR after testers employed by HRI were told by Coldwell Banker Realty agents that the properties in question would not accept housing vouchers.  In each case, the testers responded to advertisements for properties that were listed for rent by Coldwell Banker Realty. The testers disclosed to Coldwell Banker Realty agents that they would use Section 8 vouchers for rent payment. The agents rejected these callers, telling them that they would not accept vouchers.

In the settlements with DCR announced today, Coldwell Banker Realty agreed to pay a $10,000 penalty to DCR for the alleged violation in each case, for a total of $40,000 in penalties.  In separate settlements with HRI, Coldwell Banker Realty also agreed to refrain from discriminating on the basis of source of lawful income; to provide fair housing training for employees; and to make available voucher-knowledgeable staff to assist agents with processing housing vouchers.

“We are standing up for New Jerseyans and their right to access housing using government rental assistance,” said Attorney General Platkin. “The settlements announced today send a clear message: if you impede or hinder that access, we will hold you accountable. The Law Against Discrimination is one of the strongest civil rights laws in the country, and we are not afraid to use it.”

“Fighting housing discrimination is one of our core priorities. The resolutions announced today underscore our commitment to enforcing those protections – and to ensuring that participants in the housing market, including real estate agencies, comply with the law,” said Sundeep Iyer, Director of the Division on Civil Rights. “We are grateful to organizations like Housing Rights Initiative for their work in protecting the housing rights of all New Jerseyans.”

In the settlements announced today, three of the four properties that were the subject of HRI’s complaints were located in Jersey City, while the fourth was in Hackensack. The Coldwell Banker Realty Offices involved are located in Hoboken, Jersey City, and Upper Montclair. In three of the four cases, the verified complaints alleged that a Coldwell agent or broker did not respond immediately on the use of Section 8 vouchers, indicating that they would check with the landlord. Upon follow-up, the tester was informed that the landlord refused to accept a Section 8 voucher. In the fourth case, the verified complaint alleged that the agent immediately informed the tester that property is “not signed up for Section 8, it’s not approved for that,” and told the tester “don’t waste my [time].”


The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) works to prevent, eliminate, and remedy discrimination and bias-based harassment in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation throughout New Jersey. DCR enforces the Law Against Discrimination, the New Jersey Family Leave Act, and the Fair Chance in Housing Act.

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