TIME : -
The second type of sexual harassment in housing is hostile environment sexual harassment, where a housing provider, its agent, or even another tenant, engages in sexual behavior of such severity and pervasiveness that it results in an intimidating, hostile, offensive, or otherwise significantly less than desirable tenancy. Another case recently settled by HUD involved a Virginia housing provider that failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the sexual harassment of a female tenant by a male tenant who was making unwelcome advances, whistling at her, and following her around the apartment complex. The housing provider promised to pay the tenant $37,500 and to take steps to adopt a sexual harassment policy. The agreement can be read here.
This settlement highlights the fact that a property owner not only has a duty not to engage in sexual harassment, but also to ensure that its employees or agents and even other tenants do not engage in such behavior.
The takeaway for co-op and condo boards is that as housing providers, they too are responsible for ensuring compliance with the Fair Housing Act. Co-op and condo boards can be held liable if they know or should have known that managing agents, superintendents, contractors, brokers and even other tenants are sexually harassing a resident, tenant, or applicant to the building, and fail to take action to stop it.
Attorney Advertising Client's Rights Legal Disclaimer
Anderson Kill Loss Advisor Anderson Kill Insurance Services