February 17, 2013
Mississauga Landlord Faces Human Rights Complaint
According to a report in the Toronto Star, an immigrant from Bangladesh has filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC).
Rafiqul Islam told the OHRC he wanted to rent from rental property from a landlord in Mississauga, Ontario. He said the Mississauga landlord demanded Islam pay a full year of rent in order to be accepted in to the property.
Islams’ Human Rights Tribunal inquiry has been adjourned until March.
Why Is Asking For a Year of Rent Upfront an Issue?
Under the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act, a landlord can only ask a tenant pay first and last months rent.
However, the Mississauga landlord said Mr. Islam would be treated differently because he didn’t have any credit or employment history in Canada.
Some tenant advocates and activists believe what happened to Mr. Islam is a common problem faced by newcomers to Ontario.
Because newcomers may not have established credit ratings or long term employment, some landlords will break the Ontario rules and make demands that break the rules and treat newcomers differently than other applicants.
What’s the Background Story on Islam’s Situation?
Mr. Islam was a financial manager in him home country of Bangladesh. He emigrated to Canada with his spouse Nurun Nahar in 2010.After staying a number of months with a relative, Mr. Islam and his spouse decided to find their own place to live. They began searching for a rental apartment in Toronto.
The couple saw an ad for a bachelor apartment in Mississauga.
They liked the place and paid first and last. The couple even had Islam’s brother as a co-signer. Experienced landlords would clearly see they were serious about renting, had prepared a co-signer to assist their application, and certainly not tenants from hell who often get accepted by landlords without any proper tenant screening.
Rent Paid and Even a Co-Signer. Looks Like a Good Situation for the Landlord!
A week and half later Mr. Islam and his spouse were informed their application been denied. They were told if they really wanted to rent the apartment they would have to pay an entire year of rent at the beginning of their tenancy. The dollar figure demanded was $8,880.Mr. Islam was eventually informed the building owner had a policy of demanding a years worth of rent from newcomers to Canada. This led to the Human Rights Complaint.
Looks Like This Corporate Landlord Wasn’t Aware of the Rules or Decided to Ignore the Rules in Ontario
Yes. It’s important landlords are aware of not only the Residential Tenancy Act, but also the Ontario Human Rights Code for Rental Housing.
The Ontario Landlords Association is getting this message out there to landlords all over Ontario.
Know the rules and laws and respect the rules and laws.
Landlords, if you aren’t happy with how the system operates in Ontario you can make change through the ballot box.