A Youngstown landlord has agreed to pay $199,000 to resolve a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio that alleged he and the residential properties managed - YLP LLC - violated the Fair Housing Act by sexually harassing female tenants.

US Department of Justice announced it had reached a deal with Joseph Pedaline, 72, of Youngstown, Ohio, and YLP LLC, who owned and managed residential rental properties in Youngstown.

According to the Ohio Attorney General's website, YLP LLC's statutory agent is Pedaline.

Under the consent decree, Pedaline and YLP LLC will pay $189,000 to former tenants harmed by his discriminatory conduct and pay a $10,000 civil penalty to the federal government

Pedaline and his management company must also take steps to reverse any adverse judgments and repair the credit of tenants who were evicted after refusing Pedaline's advances. The consent decree also bars future discrimination and permanently bars Pedaline from managing residential rental properties. It also mandates Fair Housing Act training and requires reporting regarding compliance with the terms of the decree.

The lawsuit filed alleged that Pedaline sexually harassed female tenants from approximately 2009 through 2020 and that YLP LLC was liable for Pedaline's conduct during the period in which it owned and managed the properties.

"No one should ever have to fear sexual harassment when they sign a lease, pay their rent or simply spend time in their home," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. "Landlords who sexually harass tenants violate the Fair Housing Act, and the Justice Department will continue to hold landlords accountable for this egregious conduct."

According to the complaint, Pedaline subjected tenants to unwelcome sexual comments, entered the homes of female tenants without consent, touched female tenants without their consent, offered to excuse late or unpaid rent for sex acts, and took adverse housing-related actions against female tenants who refused his sexual advances.

The complaint also alleged that YLP LLC was liable for Pedaline's discriminatory conduct while it owned and managed the rental properties.

Assistant United States Attorneys Michelle Heyer and Kathryn Andrachik investigated the matter on behalf of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio.

Individuals who may have been victims of sexual harassment at rental dwellings owned or managed by Joseph Pedaline or YLP LLC can email [email protected] or call 1-833-591-0291.