Ponte Vedra family alleges housing discrimination in lawsuit | News

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Ponte Vedra family alleges housing discrimination in lawsuit
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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Terry Pitra and his 83 year-old mother, Colleen, are taking Aimco, one of the nation's largest property management companies, to court on allegations of housing discrimination.

The Pitras' lease was not renewed last year by the Remington apartments located on Ponte Vedra Lakes Boulevard. 

Colleen is disabled, with her son being her primary caregiver.

Terry Pitra said it all started several years ago when he asked neighbors what they paid for rent. He said they were paying several hundred dollars less a month.

"I heard a property manager six years ago tell me probably it is because my mother is disabled. That's why we're paying more rent," said Pitra, who is a certified public accountant.

Pitra has filed numerous complaints with state agencies alleging discrimination and feels the action taken not to renew his lease stems from all of his complaints.

Scott Padami, an attorney representing the Remington, denies the apartment complex is discriminating the son and mother.

Padami noted the Pitras have filed six complaints with all except for one dismissed. The Florida Commission on Human Relations last summer ruled in the favor of Pitras and zeroed in on why the lease was not renewed.

Padami said the apartment complex was not included in the process that resulted in that decision.

The Pitras have a lawsuit that is now working its way through the circuit court in St. Johns County. So far, attempts to resolve the dispute in mediation have not been successful.

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