January 12th, 2013
Feelings, Dignity, Self-Respect For a Tenant Who Wanted a Ramp, B.C. Human Right Tribunal Orders the Landlord to Pay Up
According to the Vancouver Sun, a landlord has been ordered to pay over $15,000 to a tenant who says she was discriminated against.
The tenant is 68 year old Joyce Stewart.
Stewart first began renting her Campbell River apartment in 1999. She suffers from club foot and a medical condition called osteoporosis. In the past few years she’s required the use of a walker for mobility.
She told the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal she requested asked the owner of her rental building, Sartoras Enterprises, to build a ramp to assist her in getting around. She said there were 5 steps made out of concrete at the rental property’s entrance and it can become a huge challenge for her to go up and down the steps.
Because the building only had these 5 steps and no ramp, her ability to leave the apartment became limited and she had to prepare days before to get both physically and mentally ready to go up and down the steps.
The B.C. Landlord Refused
Sartoras Enterprises refused her request to build a ramp for her. This refusal led Stewart to file at the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.
It was ruled by Marlene Tyshynski (a Tribunal member) that the landlord pay $15,000 to tenant Stewart for:
“…injury to her dignity, feelings and self-respect.”
The landlord was also ordered to:
* Build a ramp for Stewart
* Pay $500 extra because the company didn’t send in documents needed for the case.
Could a Small Landlord Afford to Pay Such a Huge Sum of Money?
Many landlords aren’t even going to increase the rent out of fear of losing their current tenants.
Now we have tribunals ordering landlords to build ramps. What’s next for landlords?
Will this ruling and huge fine lead investors to avoid rental properties in B.C.? Will it lead landlords to try to avoid renting to elderly people?
B.C. Landlords Are Facing Huge Challenges in 2013. Make Sure You Are Aware of What’s Happening and Find Great Tenants.
To Discuss this with other B.C. landlords and landlords across Canada go to the B.C. Landlords Forum.