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Press Release

Justice Department Secures Agreement in Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Michigan Rental Property Owner

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The Justice Department announced today that Michigan landlord, Mohamad Hussein, has agreed to pay $185,000 in damages and a civil penalty to the government to resolve the Fair Housing Act (FHA) lawsuit concerning Hussein’s sexual harassment of actual and prospective female tenants. Hussein has owned and managed over 15 rental properties in and around Dearborn Heights, Michigan, since 2013.

“No one should be denied the opportunity to live in safe and affordable housing because of their refusal to submit to a landlord’s sexual demands,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “When landlords sexually harass their tenants, they deprive tenants of the ability to feel safe and secure in their own homes. The Justice Department is committed to holding predatory landlords accountable to ensure that all tenants are protected from unlawful discrimination.”

“Housing is one of our most basic needs, and no one should have to endure sexual harassment in order to keep a roof over their head,” said U.S. Attorney Dawn N. Ison for the Eastern District of Michigan. “My office is committed to enforcing the Fair Housing Act to prevent all forms of harassment in housing. We appreciate the partnership and support of the Civil Rights Division to advance those efforts here in the Eastern District of Michigan.”

The lawsuit, filed in March 2023, alleged that Hussein subjected actual and prospective female tenants to sexual harassment by making unwelcome comments and advances and offered actual and prospective female tenants housing-related benefits in exchange for engaging in sex acts with him.

Under the terms of the proposed consent decree, approved today by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Hussein will pay $185,000 in damages to eight former and prospective female tenants harmed by the harassment and a civil penalty to the United States. Hussein will be required to take steps to vacate any retaliatory eviction judgments obtained against these tenants. He will be permanently enjoined from personally managing rental properties in the future and will be required to retain an independent property manager to manage any rental properties he owns. Finally, the consent decree will require Hussein to implement non-discrimination policies and complaint procedures to prevent sexual harassment at his properties in the future and to take fair housing training.     

The Justice Department’s Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative is led by the Civil Rights Division, in coordination with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country. The goal of the department’s initiative is to address, deter and raise awareness about sexual harassment by landlords, property managers, maintenance workers, loan officers or other people who have control over housing. Since launching the initiative in October 2017, the department has filed 39 lawsuits alleging sexual harassment in housing and recovered more than $12 million for victims of such harassment.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, along with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, enforces the FHA, which prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at Individuals may report sexual harassment or other forms of housing discrimination by calling the Justice Department’s Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-833-591-0291, or submitting a report online. Individuals may also report such discrimination by contacting the Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777 or by filing a complaint online.

Updated April 8, 2024

Civil Rights
Fair Housing
Press Release Number: 24-408