Kansas Landlord Charged with Sexually Harassing Female Tenants

December 14, 2017
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HUD recently charged the landlord of several rental properties in Kansas, and his wife, who co-owned one of the properties, with housing discrimination after the landlord allegedly sexually harassed two female residents at his properties.

The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability. Sexual harassment is a form of illegal sex discrimination.

“Landlords who use their position to intimidate or harass residents or to attempt to trade sexual favors for rent violate the sanctity of a woman’s home, the place where she should feel the safest,” Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “HUD is committed to protecting the housing rights of those who are sexually harassed and will continue to take action any time housing providers violate those rights.”

Two female residents filed the HUD complaints, accusing the landlord of making unwanted sexual advances toward them, harassing them, and evicting them because they refused his advances. HUD’s charge alleges that the landlord subjected one of the women, who was working as a property manager, to a hostile environment, including entering her apartment uninvited, sexually harassing her, and requesting sex in exchange for allowing her to stay in her unit. The charge also alleges that the landlord told her that he could be her “sugar daddy,” grabbed her buttocks, and made comments about her body to others. On one occasion, she said that she awoke to find him in her bedroom on her bed.

The charge alleged that the landlord subjected the second resident to a hostile environment by making numerous requests for sex when he picked up her rent payments. Once, when she was late paying a portion of her rent, the landlord allegedly asked her if she wanted to have sex with him instead of paying the $150 she owed. She said that when she refused the offer, the landlord became very upset and immediately wrote her a three-day notice to vacate.

The charge will go on for an administrative hearing unless any party elects to take the case to court.