PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has charged a Providence real estate management company with refusing to rent to families with children in violation of federal law.

D&D Realty Management LLC posted a Facebook advertisement for “completed remodeled students apartments” HUD said in a statement Tuesday.

HUD alleges when its sent people to D&D Realty Management to ask about available units and mentioned that they had children, they were told on several occasions that they couldn’t have children in the apartments. Meanwhile, potential tenants without children were shown available units and offered the opportunity to rent.

Alexander Friedman, an attorney for D&D Realty Management, said “There’s no merit to these allegations.”

A U.S. administrative law judge will hear the charge unless any party elects for the case to be heard in federal court, HUD said. If the administrative law judge finds that discrimination has occurred, the judge may award damages to the complainant.

The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to refuse to rent to a family because of children under the age of 18, except in certain housing for older people.

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