Human Rights Tribunal facilitates settlement on discriminatory rents for newcomers

On consent, the parties issued a joint statement to be released to the media which states the following:

TORONTO, March 6, 2013 /CNW/ - A human rights matter was settled today involving allegations that the respondents required him to pay 12 months rent in advance for his apartment.

"Helrit Investments Inc. and Trevi Construction Limited regret that one of our tenants believed he had to pay twelve months rent in advance because he was a newcomer to Canada. We know the law - it is discriminatory, and illegal under the Residential Tenancies Act," said Dina Krznaric of Helrit. "We do not have any policy in place that would require such a payment and which would contravene the Human Rights Code.

Mr. Rafiqul Islam had brought a human rights application forward.  Having recently arrived from Bangladesh, he found many landlords had asked for twelve months rent in advance because he was a newcomer. "I am glad that I brought this forward and I encourage others to assert their rights."

"Discriminating against people as they are starting to build a new life in this country is most certainly not something our company promotes," continued Dina Krznaric of Helrit.  "We welcome tenants from all over the world to our properties, and recognize that recent immigrants have the full protection of the law.  In the spirit of moving forward, we have committed to create and distribute a policy to all of our portfolio to clarify the law, and will ensure all staff understand their obligations under the Human Rights Code," continued Dina Krznaric.

"While we appreciate Helrit's cooperation, this remains a wide-spread practice in Ontario and one that must be addressed in a larger way," said Bruce Best, Counsel for Mr. Islam from the Human Rights Legal Support Centre.

SOURCE: Human Rights Legal Support Centre

For further information:

Jennifer Ramsay, Human Rights Legal Support Centre, 416-597-4958, mobile: 416-522-5931


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