Although I have written about it a few times before (quid pro quo and hostile environment), given the current cultural climate I definitely feel that it bears repeating—sexual harassment touches all aspects of life, including the workplace, and should be treated seriously. The prevalence and popularity of sexual harassment cases in the news makes this issue especially pertinent for landlords, as seen by the hefty $600,000 Department of Justice settlement highlighted in my previous post. Therefore, property managers and landlords need to be hyper-vigilant about ensuring that it is not occurring at their communities or with their employees.
To review, HUD has issued regulations that explicitly prohibit both quid pro quo harassment and hostile environment. Obviously, this means that landlords and property management companies need to avoid making normal services, practices, or policies contingent on the resident or prospective resident engaging in certain behavior. However, it also means that landlords and property management companies must ensure that their employees and residents are not creating a hostile environment at the properties.
So what’s the bottom line? Well, even though I’ve written about it extensively, it cannot be overstated—it is the duty of a landlord and management company to take proactive steps to stamp out sexual harassment both in the workplace and at their properties.