San Francisco Landlord Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Renting a home, apartment or piece of property should never put you at risk of being sexually harassed or assaulted by your landlord. Unfortunately, many property owners and landlords use their positions of power to do just this. If you are a victim of landlord sexual harassment in San Francisco, the attorneys at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi can help. We will carefully review your case and explain your legal rights during a free and confidential case evaluation. Our San Francisco sexual harassment attorneys care about their clients and are passionate about bringing abusive landlords to justice.
Why Trust Us With This Case?
- We offer free and completely confidential case consultations with no obligation to hire us.
- Our lead attorney has more than 25 years of experience handling sexual harassment cases.
- We have obtained millions of dollars for past sexual harassment and assault clients.
- Our lawyers have ample experience going up against landlords, property owners and management companies.
- We operate on a contingency fee basis, with no fees charged unless we win.
What Is Landlord Sexual Harassment?
Under California law, the definition of sexual harassment is to commit any type of unwanted sexual advance against an individual, including physical, verbal and visual sexual misconduct. Sexual harassment can refer to comments or actions of a sexual nature as well as based on a person’s sex. In a workplace context, sexual harassment can mean an environment that is so hostile or unwelcome that one or more people do not feel safe there. Sexual harassment can be committed by any person, male or female, against an individual of the opposite or same sex.
Landlord sexual harassment is any sex crime or inappropriate action committed against a tenant or rental property applicant for the purpose of sexual gratification, intimidation or abuse or based on the victim’s sex or protected class. Typically, the culprit in these cases is the landlord, the manager of the property, the lessor or the property owner. However, it can also describe sexual harassment by another tenant that has gone ignored by your landlord.
Examples of Landlord Sexual Harassment
There are many variations of sexual harassment, as California’s definition of this offense is broad. You may not be able to know if you are a victim of sexual harassment without speaking to an attorney with experience in this practice area. The sooner you tell your story to someone, the better. A San Francisco landlord sexual abuse attorney will listen to your story and believe you. Then, he or she will give you advice about what to do next.
Examples of landlord sexual harassment include:
- Refusing to rent to you because of your race, sex or another protected class.
- Making offensive or rude remarks or jokes about you.
- Posting lewd drawings, cartoons or pictures in common areas on the premises.
- Committing sexually inappropriate or criminal acts.
- Physical touching, including sexual assault against a tenant.
- Requiring you to comply with sexual favors to rent the property.
- Asking for sexual favors instead of money as a form of rent payment.
- Offering housing incentives to agree to a date or sexual activity.
- Entering your apartment without permission and for no valid reason.
- Spying on you while you are in your apartment (voyeurism or stalking).
- Retaliatory actions, such as evicting you from the building for turning down sexual advances.
Any conduct, behavior, gesture or facial expression that seems inappropriate, offensive or sexually motivated by your landlord could constitute sexual harassment. In many cases, these issues stem from an imbalance of power between the landlord and a tenant or prospective renter. The landlord can take advantage of his or her position of power to commit sexual harassment or more violent sex crimes. If you are a victim, you have rights.
Laws Against Landlord Sexual Harassment in California
California has multiple laws against sexual harassment by landlords and property managers. One is the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in the rental or sale of dwellings based on sex, race, religion, disability and other protected classes. Under this law, sexual harassment in housing is a form of illegal sex discrimination.
Federal laws are also in place to protect tenants from landlord sexual harassment. Section 109 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 prohibits sex discrimination in similar wording to California’s Fair Housing Act. It also gives the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development authority to enforce these federal statutes.
Were You Sexually Harassed by a Landlord? Here’s What to Do
Victims of sexual harassment may not know how to protect their rights, especially if their perpetrators are in charge of their housing or have access to where they live. Start by ensuring your personal safety. If you no longer feel safe in your rented home or apartment because of landlord sexual harassment, go to a safe place, such as a friend or family member’s house.
Explain what happened and create a record of events early, while the details are still fresh in your mind. Write down everything that happened, along with the date, location and the names of any witnesses. Report the landlord to a housing authority, if possible, such as the management company the landlord works for or the California Civil Rights Department. If you have physical signs of your sexual assault, go to a hospital for a forensic exam within at least five days.
You should talk to someone about your experience, whether it is a psychiatrist or the national sexual assault hotline, to help you cope with the mental and emotional sides of landlord sexual harassment. Finally, when you’re ready, you should contact an attorney to help you file a civil claim in San Francisco.
Get Help From an Experienced Landlord Sexual Harassment Attorney Today
If you were sexually harassed, assaulted, abused or retaliated against by your landlord in San Francisco, help is available at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi. You don’t have to go through the process of pursuing justice and financial compensation alone. Our lawyers have years of experience handling sexual harassment and assault cases in California and across the country. We know exactly how to protect and exercise your rights as a tenant.
Request a free case consultation with one of our sexual harassment lawyers today to begin the claims process. We can investigate your case and explore your legal options. Call (855) 945-0801 or send us a message online for more information.