Sun | Jan 20, 2019

The dog, the landlady and sexual harassment

Published:Tuesday | December 15, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Q: It has been very difficult finding a reasonably priced place to live in that is also safe. It is hard on me as a single parent. In addition, my 10-year-old son has a dog. Most landlords do not want children in their place. They also do not want dogs, even though the dog is a pet for my son and protection for me. He barks whenever strangers attempt to come into the yard. However, the other tenant does not like my dog and complains that the dog barks all night and leaves droppings all over the place. Both allegations are lies. My son and I clean up every dropping every time. The landlady who does not live there wants us to leave on those grounds. The landlady wants a man on one side of the house both for protection and also as a handyman. The other tenant is a 'Mr Fix It'. She does not know that frequently he puts questions to me, but I am not interested. The next-door neighbour told me that he hounded out the last two female tenants because they would not give in to his sexual demands. He has touched me inappropriately, more than once. I warned him. I love this place because it is near to my son's school and it is near enough to work, but the other tenant is giving me hell.

A: You need to have a woman-to-woman talk with your landlady. You need to tell her that her tenant is sexually harassing you and the word on the street is that he is that type of man. In addition, the stories about your dog being noisy and dirty are not true. Tell her that the place is convenient for you and your son and you would like to stay.

Furthermore, you need to tell your fellow tenant that you do not appreciate his sexual advances and that you believe that is the reason he is causing you problems. Tell him to stop telling lies on your dog. You should consult a lawyer concerning the inappropriate touches from your tenant and take the necessary action.

You need to have a talk with your son and make him aware of the difficulty you have getting somewhere to rent because of the dog. There might come a time when you might have to sacrifice the dog in order to get a place to live. You need also to talk to a lawyer about your rights as a tenant. All the best.