Legal Update 2020
Instructor: John Henderson
Landlord and Property Manager's Liability for Civil Rights Violation
Francis v. Kings Park Manor, Inc., 920 F. 3d 168, 2019, U.S. App. LEXIS 6486 (2nd Cir. Mar. 4, 2019) (2019)
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Facts: [Informational purposes only - Second Circuit COA withdrew its decisions without comment] Tenant advised landlord and property manager that she was being harassed by another tenant, in addition to calling police. Landlord told property manager "not to get involved" and they declined to respond. Tenant moved out and sued property man- ager on several grounds including Fair Housing Act. Action was dismissed for failure to state a claim.
Issue: Whether a landlord and its property manager can be held liability under Fair Housing Act and other civil rights laws for failing to take prompt action to address a racially hostile housing environment created by on tenant targeting another.
Held: Yes - case remanded to district court and Tenant did state a cause of action. Court opined that the landlord and property manager may be held liable for failing to take prompt action when they had the power to do so. The court commented that the Tenant made an adequate showing that the landlord and property manager "acted with at least deliberate indifference that facilitated the racial harassment.