Human Rights in Housing: Basics for Canadian Leasing Agents

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Everyone has the right to procure a house. Having a place to live is one of the basic needs of humans. And it is part of your job to help people find this basic need. But for you to make it happen, you have to learn some facts about tenants, landlords, and properties. It is a lot of information, but we’ll tackle it one at a time, shall we? For this article, we will talk about landlord and tenant rights.

International law mandates that the people in Canada should have opportunities to acquire a residence. Given that they can afford it, of course. Through the Human Rights Code, landlords and tenants can identify their responsibilities and rights. For example, the tenants have the right to rent a property without judgment and discrimination. Landlords are not allowed to reject someone based on:

• Race or Ethnicity
• Religion
• Gender and Sexual Preference
• Marital status, Familial status, Pregnancy
• Age, Disabilities
• Citizenship, Place of Origin, Recipient of Public Assistance

It is the landlord’s job to make sure the tenants do not feel any form of discrimination. If the tenant is not qualified to rent, they should have a valid reason to reject an applicant.

When do housing rights apply?

Housing rights are applicable whenever a person rents or buys a property. It is also aptly used during an eviction, determining policies and all the activities concerning the utilization of the property. The landlord must ensure to respect the tenants’ rights at all times.

Choosing a tenant

Under the Code, the landlord is only allowed to ask for the information they need. They must identify if the tenant is capable of paying the rent without difficulty. But that is not enough. They must also determine if the tenant is responsible and reliable.

• Landlords can ask for the tenant’s income, employment, and credit checks.
• If the tenant has a history of renting, the landlord can ask for credit and landlord references. However, no rental history is not necessarily a bad thing.
• The data about the tenant’s income is only for determining if they can pay the rent.

Tenant Needs

Being a property manager is a full-time job, and it requires giving attention to the tenants’ needs. The landlord should know how to meet their requests, especially if it will make their stay more comfortable. Of course, the landlord does not have to accommodate every request. But if it’s reasonable, they have to.

For example, the tenant has a disability and needs a wheelchair to move around. The landlord can adjust and make changes, such as putting up ramps around the property. Although it is mainly the landlord’s job, the tenants have to cooperate with the revisions made. Simply put, they have to work together.

Special Programs for Housing

In Canada, special programs exist to set up housing for people with special needs like the elderly, disabled persons, and students with families. According to the Code, the programs are allowed to assist those people provided they meet the requirements.

Advancing Human Rights

Landlords can do more when it comes to protecting their tenants’ rights. It is not only about being aware but also about taking action. The landlords can come up with policies on anti-harassment and anti-discrimination. They can also develop a systematic way to respond to requests and resolve conflicts immediately. Property owners can even undergo training and education to learn more about protecting tenant rights.

As a leasing agent, you also must protect every tenant. Your job is not only looking out for the landlord’s rights but also theirs. And because you now know more about it, you can start looking for potential renters. Don’t forget to sign up for Padleads to help you with this task. You can post property listings and syndicate them to other websites for everyone to see.

Preserving human rights should come naturally to every landlord. They have the responsibility to make the tenants feel safe in their homes. Safety does not only mean being safe physically, but it includes the avoidance of being judged. Every person has a choice to live wherever they want peacefully.

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