Harassment is a threat or abuse against a tenant because she/he belongs to a protected class.
What is Harassment? Under fair housing laws, “harassment" includes abusive, foul or threatening language or conduct directed at a resident, employee or guest because of protected class (such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, familial status, sexual orientation, etc.). Harassment is conduct that is sufficiently severe and/or pervasive to affect one’s ability to use and enjoy their housing.
Harassing conduct includes:
Coercing a person, orally, in writing, or by other means, to deny or limit that person’s benefits in connection with the sale or rental of a dwelling or in connection with a residential real estate-related transaction because of protected class.
A staff person tells a negative joke about Asians in front of the manager, who does nothing about it.
A leasing agent makes fun of a resident who wears a turban.
Threatening, intimidating or interfering with persons in their enjoyment of a dwelling because of their protected class, or that of their visitors or associates.
A landlord warns a resident that he will be evicted if he continues to have visitors who are Mexican.
What can you do? if you believe you are being harassed because you belong to a protected class?
1. Put the landlord on notice that you believe that you are being harassed because of your membership in a protected class.
2. If the harassment continues, file a complaint with HUD or the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.
Notes & Links
Sexual harassment is discrimination against the protected class of females.
adapted from Fair Housing Partners of Washington State