Lawsuit Alleges Racial Discrimination Against Local Real Estate Agents


January 18, 2021

Lawsuit Alleges Racial Discrimination Against Local Real Estate Agents

By Jessica Mathews & Jon King /

Two native actual property brokers are dealing with a federal lawsuit alleging racism and violations of the Honest Housing Act.

The swimsuit was filed in opposition to actual property brokers Rick Beaudin of KW Realty Livingston and Mary Kay Ikens of RE/MAX Platinum in U.S. District Court docket in Detroit. It was filed by Verdell and Julie Franklin, who reside in Ohio however have been visiting associates for the previous decade on Zukey Lake. Verdell Franklin is African American and the longtime Chief Monetary Officer of the Toledo Hearth Division. Julie is white and a licensed registered nurse girl. The couple has been married for 30 years and have two sons.

The grievance states that upon data and perception, at the moment there aren’t any African American dwelling homeowners on Zukey Lake and there by no means has been. It was additionally acknowledged that it’s uncommon for a properties on the lake to be put up on the market. When a house was listed, the Franklins instantly referred to as and arrange a displaying with Ikens on September 4th, 2020. The itemizing worth was $350,000 and contained no situations comparable to being “bought as-is” or requiring an all money provide. The Franklins had been believed to be the primary potential patrons to view the property.

As a part of abnormal observe, brokers usually inquire about sure {qualifications} to buy a house. The grievance alleges Ikens demonstrated no real interest in the Franklins as potential patrons, didn’t ask about their occupations or monetary means. When the Franklins mentioned they needed to place in a proposal instantly, Ikens allegedly reacted in a clumsy approach and as an alternative of following via, instructed them she needed to present a pal a house close by. Ikens is alleged to have taken for much longer than anticipated to return and ultimately knowledgeable the Franklins that she spoke along with her boss, recognized as Beaudin.

The grievance states that the brokers set forth numerous situations and offered false data to dissuade them from making a proposal due to their race. The swimsuit alleges the 2 imposed unfair situations of sale included cash-only, a better gross sales worth and “as is”. Just a few days later, the house was listed as pending provide and in late October, it was listed as bought for $300,000 to a white man who didn’t buy the house with money and was allowed an inspection prior to buy. Beaudin was the itemizing agent on that sale. When the Franklins leaned of what had occurred, they had been mentioned to be heartbroken and outraged to have been victims of blatant race discrimination.

Beaudin instructed WHMI he was not the Franklins agent and “I’ve by no means met, spoke to, or had any communication with them ever I by no means acquired a proposal from the Franklins through their agent. I represented the sellers — they had been offered any presents acquired. I’m a realtor; we stay by the code of ethics. Discrimination has no place in actual property, particularly right here in Livingston County.” Nevertheless, the lawsuit alleges, “Defendant Rick Beaudin has a historical past of participating in racially inappropriate habits. In June of 2020, Beaudin was terminated from his former employer, RE/MAX Platinum, as a result of he made public feedback on his social media accounts in opposition to the Black Lives Matter motion.”

The swimsuit alleges a number of violations of the Honest Housing Act and the Elliott-Larsens Civil Rights Act. The swimsuit seeks precise damages and damages associated to emotional misery and embarrassment, injunctive reduction requiring Ikens and Beaudin to give up their actual property licenses and punitive damages for alleged discriminatory statements made by the defendants.

An electronic mail and voicemail request for remark had been left with Ikens.

A replica of the compliant is connected. Images: Beaudin – Fb, Ikens – Zillow.

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