TENANT ON TENANT HARASSMENT POLICY GUIDELINES FOR STAFF

TENANT ON TENANT HARASSMENT POLICY GUIDELINES FOR STAFF

Harassment or intimidation of a tenant, staff person or guest because of that person’s race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, ancestry, familial status, sexual orientation or disability are violations of Federal law, State law, and Chapter X, Article 1 of the Code of the City of Lawrence, are specifically prohibited and will not be tolerated.

DEFINITIONS:

“Discriminatory Harassment of Intimidation” includes abusive, foul or threatening language or behavior directed at a tenant, staff person or guest because of their race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, ancestry, familial status, sexual orientation or disability.

“Staff” includes owners, on-site management, off-site property management staff, leasing agents, maintenance personnel, or any other representative of the owner or management company.

“Enforcement agencies” are agencies authorized by law to accept and investigate housing discrimination complaints. The fair housing enforcement agencies in Kansas are the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Kansas Human Rights Commission and the City of Lawrence Human Relations/Human Resources Department.

POLICY:

It is the policy of [insert name of company here] that harassment or intimidation of a tenant, staff person or guest because of that person’s race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, ancestry, familial status, sexual orientation or disability will not be tolerated.

Discriminatory harassment or intimidation, including abusive, foul or threatening language or behavior, are violations of the fair housing laws and specifically prohibited.

All staff shall model appropriate non-discriminatory behavior and strive to cultivate and maintain a living environment that is free from discriminatory harassment or intimidation.

All staff shall be trained in detecting and addressing discriminatory harassment or intimidation.

Staff who witness or learn of possible discriminatory harassment or intimidation or receive a complaint from a tenant must take it seriously and respond promptly according to the procedures outlined in this policy.

PROCEDURES:

In cases of emergency such as immediate threat of bodily harm, call 911.

When a tenant complains of discriminatory harassment, tell the tenant that you take the complaint seriously and will be looking into the matter.

Conduct a prompt investigation to determine whether a violation of this policy has occurred based on all facts and circumstances, the nature of the allegation, and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.

  • When discussing the allegations with the alleged harasser, tell them that harassment is not tolerated and that you will be investigating the allegation.
  • Document all information gathered.

If you are unable to verify a violation of the policy following the investigation:

  • Document the complaint and results of the investigation in both the complaining party’s and alleged harasser’s files;
  • Remind each individual alleged to have engaged in discriminatory harassment about management’s serious commitment to a housing environment free of harassment and that retaliation against the complaining party will not be tolerated;
  • For ongoing tenant conflict that cannot be verified as motivated by discrimination, staff may wish to refer tenants to the City of Lawrence Human Relations/Human Resources Department for mediation, or other local mediation services, or hire an outside consultant/mediator.
  • Proceed with progressive disciplinary action up to and including eviction if necessary for ongoing unresolved conflicts.

If the investigation supports a violation of this policy:

  • Document the complaint and results of the investigation in both the complaining party’s and alleged harasser’s files;
  • Proceed with progressive disciplinary action up to and including eviction if necessary for ongoing or serious violations; – For example, if the allegation involves an isolated incident of a single derogatory statement, it may be appropriate to issue a 10-day notice to comply with a stern written warning that additional incidents could result in termination of tenancy. On the other hand, if the allegation involves a single incident of highly offensive language along with threats, a notice to terminate tenancy may be appropriate.
  • Inform the complaining party of the results of the investigation and the actions taken.
  • Remind all parties that retaliation against the complaining party or others involved in the investigation will not be tolerated.

Staff shall monitor for retaliation against any person involved in the filing or investigation of a complaint of discriminatory harassment or intimidation.

Retaliation by the alleged harasser shall be dealt with in the same manner as the original allegation of discriminatory harassment under this policy.

Retaliation by staff against any tenant complaining of harassment will not be tolerated.