Landlord 102 – Discrimination Edition Update

July 11th, 2010 · 6 Comments · Commercial Property, Landlord Advocacy, Property Management

Keep an Eye on The Law

Back in June I did an post called Landlord 101 – Discrimination Edition and I thought it would be smart to do an update to it as I have done further research.

Discrimination Law

First of all every landlord should be informed of the law. You can find the relevant fact sheet on discrimination at the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

Discrimination is Bad for Business

I also wrote that I think discrimination is bad for business and that of the groups that are regularly discriminated against most of them are actually excellent risks and that I have not evicted or had any problem with. The exception is, as I noted in my previous post, people who receive Ontario Works.

After I did my initial post I was still very interested in the subject so I did some additional investigation into the subject. I looked at the Canlii database which lists all the cases tried by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

I noticed the following 5 things about the judgments

  1. It takes over a year to get a hearing
  2. I found several cases against landlords over the last few months but they had all been abandoned by the tenant. (No wonder if it takes a year)
  3. Many of the cases include procedural issues, they are put off further and not dealt with.
  4. The forms are pretty complex
  5. The Tribunal seems formal, hard to access and very difficult for someone not familiar with legal forms.

Once I began to look at the actual process, I realized that 99% of tenants won’t file a complaint and of the 1% that do most will quit long before their case comes to a hearing.

The Facts

Even thought the legislation seems to give more power to the tenants and the government has signs on every bus stop about how tenants have rights under the law, enforcing those rights is almost impossible for most people.

So landlords you can pretty much stop worrying about this issue, our government is just wasting money on stupid crap again. Until the backlog gets cleared up and hearings are held in a reasonable time, you probably have more chance of getting hit by lightning than getting sued by a tenant for discrimination. Even if you do get sued your chance of being fined for it is as close to nothing as you can get. I did not find one single case of a tenant winning any money for their human rights being violated. I looked through about the last 6 months worth of cases and found none.

I know that discrimination is alive and well in the housing industry. New immigrants being required against the law to put 6 months down because the have no Canadian Credit and people being refused because of their colour, culture or religion. It all happens but it’s also very difficult for an outside person being denied an apartment to prove that discrimination occurred. I’ve been discriminated against myself and I didn’t like it. I’d rather live in a world where there is no such thing. It’s actually very sad that this law has no teeth.

Happy Discriminating !

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