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Black couple whose house was valued $493,000 higher after white friend pretended she owned it settle lawsuit

Black couple whose house was valued $493,000 higher after white friend pretended she owned it settle lawsuit

The value of their house allegedly shot up when their white friend pretended to own it.

A Black couple have won their discrimination lawsuit after claiming the value of their home shot up by almost $500,000 when their white friend showed the house instead of them.

Paul Austin and Tenisha Tate Austin from Marin City, California, bought their home back in 2016 and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on renovations over the next four years.

When they had their home assessed by an appraiser, it was valued at around $995,000.

Unsure if this was the best offer they could get, the couple organised a second appraisal, this time asking their white friend to pretend she owned the house.

The couple claims the value of their home shot up when they pretended a white person owned it.
ABC7

After they 'white-washed' their home and got their white friend to play the role of Tenisha, they were shocked and a little horrified to find the valuation increase by about 50 percent.

According to the second appraisal report, Tenisha and Paul's house was worth $1,482,000 - which is quite a big jump.

With that information, the couple decided to sue Janette Miller and Perotti Real Estate Appraisals Inc. for discrimination, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The couple this week settled their lawsuit and are set to receive an undisclosed amount of compensation from both Miller and her firm.

Paul Austin and Tenisha Tate Austin have won their discrimination lawsuit.
CBS

Janette Miller will also be required to attend housing discrimination prevention training, and to watch the ABC documentary Our America: Lowballed, in which the couple appeared and spoke about their case.

The firm has also 'agreed not to discriminate in the future.'

The couple said that their case is just one of many examples of the discrimination that Black people are faced with in the United States.

Issuing a statement after the settlement, Tenisha said: "Having to erase our identity to get a better appraisal was a wrenching experience.

"We know of other Black families who either couldn't get a loan because of a discriminatory appraisal and therefore either lost the opportunity to buy or sell a home, or they had to sell their home because they had an unaffordable loan."

The couple have said that their case is just one of many examples of the discrimination that Black people are faced with in the United States.
ABC7

Her partner Paul added: "We're glad that we can put this lawsuit behind us.

"Having to experience everything that came with receiving the lowballed appraisal was overwhelming. Being able to tell our story and knowing we had legal recourse helped.

"We want others to know that if you experience discrimination, you can go to your local fair housing agency so they can investigate your case and help you if you want to file a complaint."

Featured Image Credit: CBS

Topics: News, US News, Racism