Estate of California Landlord to Pay $155K to Settle Sexual Harassment Case

A settlement has been reached in a fair housing case involving a young mother who claimed that her landlord subjected her to requests for sex and other inappropriate conduct over several years, reports The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

In her complaint, the resident alleged that her landlord, after learning that her husband moved out, began texting and calling her asking for dates and making lewd comments about her physical appearance. According to the resident, the landlord’s behavior worsened over time at the two-unit residential property: Allegedly, he left her explicit voicemail messages, entered her unit when nobody was home, and was seen looking through the unit’s windows on multiple occasions.

DFEH found cause to believe that violations of state fair housing law had occurred and filed suit against the deceased landlord’s estate and the property’s co-owner.

In addition to the monetary settlement, the defendants have agreed that renting the unit in the future will trigger an obligation to develop a new antidiscrimination policy, distribute that policy and fair housing brochures to residents, and undergo fair housing training.

“It is intolerable that anyone should experience harassment as a condition of having a place to live,” DFEH Director Kevin Kish said in a statement. “We encourage anyone who experiences sexual harassment in housing to file a complaint, and we will continue to hold landlords to account.”