Brampton Couple Denied Rental Property Because of Race

An interracial Brampton couple were stunned when they were turned away from renting a townhouse based on their race.

After contacting the landlord of the property to inquire about visiting it, they were told upfront they had to be white in order to rent it.

This isn’t new in Brampton. Kijiji ads for apartments across the city are riddled with restrictions, many of which call for specific races, nationalities and languages.

But can prospective landlords do this? The Ontario Human Rights Code has some pretty specific guidelines for determining whether rental discrimination is taking place.

Denial of a prospective tenant due to race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age and disability, among other things, is grounds for discrimination according to the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s housing policy and the Ontario Human Rights Code.

But ads on Kijiji, Craigslist and other online sites continue to be discriminatory because they often go unreported.

Rental discrimination in general goes unreported. It’s a timely process to report a landlord and often renters just want a place to live, so they move on to te next apartment.

Last year a prospective Toronto landlord had to pay $10,000 to a black woman as compensation for refusing her a unit. Her boyfriend, who is white, went to inquire about renting the unit after she had and was told it was available.

But this case isn’t deterring landlords, as evidenced by the experience of the Friginette family. A quick Kijiji search also turned up a number of ads for units in Brampton that could be deemed discriminatory.

The Friginette family hasn’t yet decided what they’ll do about their situation.

Prospective renters can file complaints with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and receive support from the Human Rights Legal Support Centre.

Have you ever experienced rental discrimination in Brampton? Let us know in the comments.