Couple claims landlord refused to rent to them over Donald Trump

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- An out-of-state couple says they were trying to relocate here to the valley, and had even found a home to rent, but they say after a few texts with the landlord, he went off the rails about the President, and the government benefits they receive.

The two women certainly think this is a case of housing discrimination. They say they don't know if it's because of the sexual orientation or because of their disability, but they're not happy. The landlord, however, says he's just covering his bases.

"I had inquired to the landlord, and the response we got back was very unsettling," said Alyssa Gillaspy. She and her partner are Army vets living in Washington. They say they were ready to rent a house in Phoenix when they had a strange interaction with the landlord.

"He went on how he does not like our President, very clear, and was calling us terrible names just because we receive VA disability," said Gillaspy, via a video interview.

The landlord, identified in the screenshots of messages given to FOX 10 by Gillaspy as Gary Faulkinbury, launched in to a profanity-laced tirade about how President Donald Trump was going to take away their benefits to build his southern border wall, and also called them "(expletive) stupid".

"I don't know exactly what he was trying to get at, but he did say that he wasn't going to accept anyone who received anything that came from the government," said Gillaspy.

FOX 10's Matt Galka was able to reach Faulkinbury by phone, and asked about the aggressive text messages.

"If I can't get through to them, what difference does it make?" said Faulkinbury, via a phone interview. "I'm trying to get through to them about what's happening."

Brewer and Stratton Property Management Co-owner Damon Stratton says tenants have certain protections when trying to rent.

"There's seven protective classes: race, familial status, color, religion, sex, handicap, and national origin," said Stratton.

The couple says they're exploring all legal options. The landlord says they can still fill out an application, something the couple say they definitely will not be doing

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