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What is tenant-on-tenant harassment?

California housing law prohibits harassment on the basis of a tenant’s perceived or actual protected characteristics. Protected characteristics include race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and more. Housing providers may be liable for failing to end harassment from one tenant to another. Tenant-on-tenant harassment occurs when one tenant interferes with another tenant’s use of the property. There are two types of harassment: “quid-pro-quo” and “hostile environment.”

Quid pro quo can include tenants threatening other tenants that they will report unauthorized occupants in the tenant’s unit unless the tenant goes on a date with them.

Hostile environment includes unwelcome conduct that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to interfere with one’s use or enjoyment of a dwelling, housing, or housing-related services or facilities. Examples include a tenant repeatedly referring to another tenant by using derogatory slurs, blocking a tenant’s access to a common pathway, threatening to reveal another tenant’s immigration status, bullying another tenant because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation.


What to do when you experience tenant-on-tenant harassment

Housing providers have a duty to make sure that tenants have equal use and enjoyment of the property. If you are a tenant and you experience tenant-on-tenant harassment, report it to your housing provider. If they fail to remedy the tenant harassment, you can submit a complaint to California Civil Rights Division (CRD) or dial 211 for help. CRD provides free, voluntary mediation services for discrimination complaints. For more information, visit CRD’s website here: