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Home · Property Management · Latest News : Landlord Shares Liability for Property Manager’s Sexual Harassment

landlord helpA jury in Ypsilanti, Michigan has just awarded $115,000 in damages against a property manager for sexually harassing female residents in rental properties. Sexual harassment is a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act.

The jury also imposed liability on the landlord, a county commissioner, because he knew that the manager was sexually harassing residents but did nothing to stop it.

One woman testified that she complained in person to the owner about manager’s conduct, yet the manager continued to handle the owner’s properties for nearly two more years.

Over the course of a six-day trial, the government presented evidence that the property manager subjected six women to severe and pervasive sexual harassment, ranging from unwelcome sexual comments and sexual advances, to requiring sexual favors in exchange for their tenancy. One woman testified that the manager refused to give her keys to her unit until she agreed to have sex with him. Another woman testified that she had sex with the manager at least 20 times because he threatened that the owner would evict her if she did not.

Damages will be divided among the six female residents whom the jury found were victims of the harassment. The Justice Department plans to seek civil penalties against the defendants as well as comprehensive injunctive relief.

Civil rights laws in this country”including the Fair Housing Act”seek to ensure that all individuals may live free from discrimination and harassment, Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for Civil Rights, said in a statement. Today’s jury verdict reminds landlords and rental agents that tenants should never be subjected to sexual harassment and that the Justice Department will vigorously fight to protect tenants from illegal discrimination.

See Veteran Landlord, Property Manager Nailed for Discrimination.

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  • [email protected]

    Not only is it important for a property owner to screen prospective renters, but also his managerial staff. This is a good decision that will hopefully have the proper chilling effect on those who would perpetrate such perversion of authority. Too bad it wasn’t over a million dollars in costs. I hope that the landlord’s insurance refuses to pay and he’s forced to bear the burden of this directly.

  • Georgia Schilk

    Fact is that there are predators in every profession. Shame on the landlord for being an accesory. But also, shame on the tenant that doesn’t report it to the landlord and tenant commission or police. Why didn’t she file a complaint and then get the heck out of there. We have video camers, cell phone, photo camera’s all that record events. 20X’s!!!! Whats wrong with the tenant? Why did she become a victim that often? Come on America… Lets take some personal responsibility as adults. On the other hand $115,000 is to little for such a degenerate. Choose the behavior choose the consequences…. Why wasn’t the guy charged with felony assult?

  • Joseph

    Come on ! I had sex with the property manager at lease 20 times because he said I would be evicted ? I think that tenant should be thrown in the idiot slammer. Why didn’t she report this to the police. I wonder if this would have made it to court if it was a female property manager harassing males.

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  • Cleopatra Martinez

    I am having same issue it turn out my new manager was a school mate and for the past 5 months his been getting in my personal business and even Tex me saying that it’s an emergency then I got to office and he closes door and grabs my but, an d chest,I move and he says you know I can help you if you give me a chance, I said no, now his threaten to evict me and called me crazy, that no one will believe me, and I don’t know what dog I am messing with, I feel stressed and depressed I can’t even go outside cause he even moved into property, I don’t know what to do

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