What is the penalty for a Section 8 building superintendent who sexually harasses female tenants?

The building super constantly sexually harasses a few of the female tenants, including myself, even going as far as wanting to forcefully grope them. He also threatens them with eviction if they don’t comply with his perverted wishes. Additionally, he refuses to make necessary repairs when something isn’t working right in the building, including the boiler room, knowing that there apartments above it.

Asked on March 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) Sexual discrimination or harassment is forbidden in *any* housing, not just Section 8. If you and other women are being victimized in this way, you could report it to the housing authoritities (this is where being section 8 helps; you should have a case worker or other contact at the housing authority) and/or consider bringing  a laws suit. Another option is to contact the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).

2) A landlord must make repairs that affect habitability--.e.g if there's a boiler problem, and as a result, there's no enough heat or hot water, or there are dangerous fumes, that must be fixed. (Minor or cosmetic problems, like stained carpet or a graffeti, do not need to be fixed.) If the landlord isn't doing this, you could sue for either monetary damages and/or to force the repairs, or again, get in touch with your contacts at the housing authority.


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