AUSTIN (KXAN) — The city of Austin is suing a man, they say, refused service to one of his tenants unless a sexual favor was performed.
According to the lawsuit, the defendant Laymond Thompson Jr. agreed to rent his property to a female tenant in 2013 but refused to give her a key to the unit and later requested a sexual favor from her when she was late on her rent. When the female tenant refused the sexual favor, Thompson allegedly changed the terms of her late payment, entered her unit without permission and removed her belongings.
The rental units Thompson oversaw are located at a home in the 10600 block of Brownie Drive.
Shambrica Allen moved to Austin two years ago ready to start a new life for herself. She came across a north Austin apartment on Craigslist at a price she could afford with a landlord she says couldn’t have been nicer.
“He was all for me,” said Allen. “He said ‘Oh I want to help you. I’ve seen people in your situation before and I just want to help.'”
Allen says her rent was $500 a month, including utilities. She says certain things she was told would be in the apartment weren’t, like the stove. She only gave the landlord a half month’s rent. When he came looking for the other half, she said it wasn’t money he had in mind.
“He thought I had an issue with paying my bills so he tried to offer [rent] in exchange for sex,” Allen said. She claims it happened more than once. Now, the City of Austin’s Equal Employment and Fair Housing office is suing Thompson, claiming discrimination.
“He said if you take care of me I’ll take care of you. Take care of me good and you won’t have to pay,” Allen said.
KXAN Investigator Lindsay Bramson wanted to get Thompson’s side of the story. Records show he still owns the same property which has six units. He didn’t want to talk on camera but told KXAN he didn’t know anything about both the lawsuit and the allegations. Those who rent from him currently were shocked at what he’s accused of.
“He seems so caring to me and the fact I have two children, never would I have ever thought he was that way,” said Felicia Cubit, one of Thompson’s current tenants.
Allen has since moved out of that apartment and now lives in another city. KXAN checked, Thompson does not have a criminal history.
KXAN also reached out to the City of Austin to see how many complaints like Allen’s ended up with lawsuits. Nearly 140 people filed discrimination complaints with the city’s Equal Employment and Fair Housing Office. Of those complaints, six led to lawsuits. The complaints cover any discrimination over race, gender, religion, disabilities as well sexual orientation.
The City’s Equal Employment/Fair Housing Office assists citizens by receiving and investigating complaints of discrimination. They say you should not wait to file a complaint because there are strict deadlines. In addition, EE/FHO is available to provide information and referral to other resources to address a wide variety of issues arising in housing and employment. All services from the EE/FHO are always provided free of charge and people may speak to an investigator with no obligation to file a complaint.
The Equal Employment Fair Housing Office says people should not delay in reporting discrimination because there are very strict time deadlines. People may call 311 to report discrimination or call 512-974-3251. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to austintexas.gov/eefho.