If you are a landlord in Ontario or becoming to be one this topic may be beneficial to you.
One of the most interesting and controversial topic for landlord tenant is the process of selecting applicant and understanding your rights as a “landlord” and most importantly understanding the “tenants” rights that you don’t cross the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
In Ontario if you are a landlord of a residential property you may not have the same liberty of rights as a commercial property landlord. Simply put if you are a landlord of a commercial property you are the “LORD” and can impose more rights whereas in the residential property the tenant is most of the time the “LORD.”
Age discrimination is a big No! No! in residential tenancy. In Ontario you cannot deny a tenant base on their age, gender, sexual orientation or even as far as you cannot deny them for having pets.
Under Ontario law 16 or 17 years old can sign a lease and although a landlord can exercise their rights to have option lawfully how it is communicated can make a huge difference that you don’t poke The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
As an example article from the The Star dated Wednesday August 27, 2014 fined a landlord $10,000 for discriminating an under age applicant. To read more of this story on The Star newspaper click here.
Base on the article above basically the landlord can exercise his rights to have option when selecting an applicant and he is entitled to that but the fact that he mentioned “the building had a policy of not renting to anyone under 18” automatically became a discrimination case. Had the landlord said he pursued another applicant he would have not been the subject of discrimination.
Another example, a young lady rented an apartment with the lease under her. Soon thereafter she invited her wheel chaired mother to stayed with her and demanded the landlord to make the entrance wheel chair friendly which the landlord refused because of the costs. The young lady apparently know her rights and set him up for a trap and after sometime of her bothering him going back and forth via email to make the renovation the landlord became so annoyed and arrogantly emailed her back with the statement “just to let you know this building is meant for normal people not handicap!” That statement alone is enough to throw away to exercise his rights to have an option and he became an easy target for The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and which he was fined $10,000.
So lesson for landlords be careful how you communicate your statement across with tenants that you don’t cross the boundary of human rights and residential tenancy act and always treat your business with respect and dignity.