Landlord May Be Liable When A Tenant's Facebook Harassment Leads To A Rape (Forbes Cross-Post)

In Ohio a landlord put in a complicated situation when a dispute between tenants escalated to what may have been online harassment and then to rape. The situation came up between two tenants and a live-in boyfriend started with a complaint about noise from a tenant named Lindsay. She had approached the landlord over the matter and the tenants in question were said to have retaliated against her by loudly knocking on her apartment door - her apartment located directly above theirs - and yelling at her. She approached the landlord again when she received a Facebook message that she believed to be from Haynes, the live-in boyfriend of her downstairs neighbor Schmidt. After providing the inappropriate message she had received to the landlord, she requested that the landlord let her out of her lease.

The landlord encouraged her to contacted the police and offered to relocate Lindsay within the complex and she agreed. Once she had been moved, the landlord approached Haynes and Schmidt to tell them to leave Lindsay alone. A few days after she had been moved, Haynes broke into Lindsay's new apartment and raped her. Haynes has been sentenced to nine years and Lindsay has brought a lawsuit against the landlord for how he handled the situation.

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POSTED October 25 2013 11:22 AM

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