Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

Historically, the courts have recognized two types of sexual harassment as forms of discrimination that violates the Fair Housing Act. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is when a housing provider or agent imposes conditions on housing based on a victim’s submission to sexual conduct. (e.g. rent in exchange for sex). Hostile environment sexual harassment is when a housing provider or agent engages in sexual behavior that severely alters the terms or conditions of tenancy that result in a hostile living environment for the victim (e.g. refusing to make repairs because a tenant refused sexual advances). Regardless of whether or not the victim experienced a loss of a housing opportunity or economic loss, claims may be filed to report incidences of sexual harassment.

In September 2016 HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity published a final rule entitled Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment Harassment and Liability for Discriminatory Housing Practices Under the Fair Housing Act. This rule formalized the standards for evaluating claims of hostile environment and quid pro quo harassment in the fair housing context and clarified housing providers’ liability for harassment or discrimination by agents and third parties.

If you live in Philadelphia, Southeast Pennsylvania or Lehigh Valley and have questions about sexual harassment or discrimination, contact, 866-540-FAIR or complete an online form.


PO BOX 558, Fort Washington, PA 19034
866-540-FAIR | 267-419-8918