When a single mother planned to move back last summer to her southwestern Minnesota hometown of Jackson, her would-be landlord asked about her situation and whether the apartment would be for “just you?”

When she mentioned her baby, Bradford Strom said that he’d had issues with other renting families and that it wouldn’t work out. Strom and his wife, Sharon, now face charges of discrimination and violating the Fair Housing Act — which makes it illegal to deny renting to someone based on race, religion, gender or familial status.

“Refusing to rent housing to families with children is against the law unless the property legally qualifies as housing for older persons,” said Bryan Greene, acting assistant secretary for fair housing at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The charges, which now go to an administrative law judge, recommend that a $16,000 penalty be levied against the Stroms. The woman has since moved to Arizona.