A Texas couple has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against a real estate firm and an agent after they were allegedly turned away from buying condos because they were Black, KHOU 11 reports.
Real estate brokers Misty and James Ra-Amari said they were looking to invest in three condos in Katy before agent Josie Lin denied them from the properties.
“We went inside, she was reluctant to show us, she asked irrelevant questions," James Ra-Amari said, per KHOU 11. “She told us quote, ‘My gut feeling tells me not to sell to you because we wouldn’t get along with you.'"
The Ra-Amaris are suing Lin and Re/Max and EXP Realty, alleging that their civil rights were violated.
“We’re hoping in this situation everyone will learn, discrimination is just not acceptable," he said.
In their suit, which is filed in U.S. District Court, the couple also claims that the marketing materials for the condos violate the Fair Housing Act.
The properties are advertised as “...a new option for a safe and simple Asian life," adding that “Katy Asian town is within walking distance," according to the outlet.
Justin Moore, the couple's attorney, said the marketing documents were "utterly mind-blowing."
“It shows a lack of organizational oversight by Re/Max and EXP to have one of their own associates strongly put this in one of their marketing documents," Moore said.
In a statement to KHOU 11, Re/Max and EXP. Re/Max said Lin wasn't affiliated with the company at the time of the alleged incident.
"We can confirm that Josie Lin left RE/MAX as of December 2021, and had no affiliation with the RE/MAX brand in any way at the time of this alleged occurrence," the statement reads. "Any use by Ms. Lin of any RE/MAX-branded materials after her departure from RE/MAX is impermissible and unauthorized. RE/MAX is committed to supporting homeownership dreams for everyone equally, regardless of race, creed, color, religion, nationality, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or family status."
The Ra-Amaris said they want the agent's license to be revoked.
“My wife and I have been brokers for 17 years, but we have been Black all our life and I have never in my life experienced discrimination of this magnitude," James said.