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Settlement: Sexual harassment lawsuit involving landlord and tenant

Landlord allegedly demands sex when rent not paid
Posted at 11:54 PM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 23:54:27-05

INDIANAPOLIS — INDIANAPOLIS — On Monday, The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana announced a settlement in a Federal Fair Housing Act lawsuit against an Indianapolis landlord.

"With a worldwide pandemic underway, renters, now more than ever, should not have to experience such harmful discrimination in the comfort of their own homes,” Brady Ripperger, Director of Fair Housing Programs at the FHCCI, said. “Sexual harassment in any housing-related transaction is unlawful under fair housing laws and should be addressed immediately."

The lawsuit filed in August 2020 alleged Henry Long requested sex from a tenant who could not pay rent because she was furloughed due to the pandemic. Long denied all the allegations and admitted to no wrongdoing. However, he will pay $45,900 to settle the case and will also have to hire a property manager to handle the day-to-day operations of his rentals. He will not have contact with any tenants or potential tenants

"I just have to applaud our client. She stood up and said 'no, I'm not going to let this happen.' She stood up, spoke out, and we were able to get this resolution," Amy Nelson, Executive Director of FHCCI, said.

If you're having a hard time making ends meet, feel like you're being taken advantage of, or need help figuring out if you qualify for assistance, Nelson shares this advice.

"Take advantage of the opportunities that are out there such as, if you qualify for the moratorium, make sure you're on the list related to rental assistance, but then also get legal advice," Nelson said. "We need people to make sure they're adequately represented in court, if they are facing an eviction."