Savannah Landlord Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit for $600k

The Justice Department announced this week that Iraj Shambayati, a landlord who owns and manages over 45 residential properties in and around Savannah, Georgia, has agreed to pay $600,000 to resolve allegations that he violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) by sexually harassing and retaliating against his female tenants for over 15 years.

“No female tenant should have to endure sexual harassment and abuse in the sanctity of her own home,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This settlement should send a clear message to housing providers and property owners: when you exploit your power and sexually harass and abuse tenants, the Justice Department will aggressively use federal civil rights laws to hold you accountable. As we mark National Fair Housing Month, we want survivors of these heinous acts to know that we stand with them and we encourage them to speak out and report complaints of unlawful sexual harassment.”

“Sexual harassment by a landlord is never acceptable,” said U.S. Attorney Jill E. Steinberg for the Southern District of Georgia. “This consent order takes Iraj Shambayati out of the property management business and emphasizes the Justice Department’s commitment to hold accountable landlords who would use their power to exploit tenants.”

Under the consent order approved by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Shambayati and two other defendants, 1511 Rosewood LLC and IDHD Properties LLC, will pay $590,000 in monetary damages to female tenants and prospective tenants harmed by Shambayati’s conduct, as well as a civil penalty to the federal government. The order requires the defendants to vacate any retaliatory eviction judgments obtained against these tenants and to take steps to correct the tenants’ credit histories. The defendants are also prohibited from managing residential rental properties in the future and must retain an independent property manager for the properties.

The lawsuit, filed in August 2023, alleged that, since at least 2008, Shambayati harassed female tenants by making repeated and unwelcome sexual comments and advances, inappropriately touching their bodies without their permission, entering their homes without their permission or knowledge, requesting sexual acts from them in exchange for rent or other housing-related benefits and taking retaliatory actions against female tenants who rejected his sexual advances or complained about the harassment.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia handled the case.

Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of sexual harassment at rental dwellings owned or managed by Iraj Shambayati should contact the Justice Department at Shambayati.Info@usdoj.gov or fairhousing@usdoj.gov or leave a message at 1-833-591-0291, selecting option 1 for English, option 2 for sexual harassment and then option 2 for Shambayati.

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 40 lawsuits alleging sexual harassment in housing and recovered nearly $12 million for victims of such harassment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

26 states sue ATF over rule targeting lawful gun owners

Next Story

Georgia lawmaker sues Fani Willis, saying she colluded in stalking case

NEVER MISS A STORY!
Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link
NEVER MISS A STORY!
Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link
NEVER MISS A STORY!
Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link

The Latest News Straight to Your Inbox

Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
SUBSCRIBE NOW
close-link
Click Me