It’s good to be reminded at times that stories about houses are not just about statistics and dollar signs, but instead about individuals trying to find a home. That is why 10 young Canadians were interviewed this week by Flare magazine.
It became obvious from that interview that it all has to do with affordability. It is the key reason why it’s harder and harder to find places to live in cities like Vancouver and Toronto. The rental vacancy rate in these cities is just about 1.5 per cent. Finding a place to live in these two cities under ideal conditions is almost impossible. Add one of the many forms of discrimination and apartment hunting can become a downright degrading experience.
A woman spoke about the discrimination young Muslims face trying to find a house, another person spoke of not going to viewings alone in case the landlord is transphobic or homophobic, a young woman spoke of the sexual harassment she’s faced while hunting for an apartment.
Unfortunately, not much can be done if you have faced discrimination or harassment when hunting for an apartment. The Human Rights Tribunal in Ontario has handled these cases since 2008, but they admit that many cases simply don’t get reported and a lot of them would be tough to prove because it’s landlord’s word against that of a potential tenant.
As a landlord, you are not meant to discriminate in your rental postings or selections, put yourself in the shoes of the tenant, and know that finding a new home is a difficult thing to do in an overheated market. It shouldn’t have to be soul-crushing too.