Landlord Breaks Lease, Faces Punitive Damages

by Chris on July 5, 2010

Two men who were at first allowed to sign a one-year lease for an apartment rental in Canada’s Northwest Territories we’re denied the right to move in once the landlord realized they were a homosexual couple.
The action rendered the tenants homeless for 10 days.
As a result, they have brought their case before the Human Rights Commission.
The landlord argued before the council that his religious beliefs against homosexuality outweigh other considerations of the law.  He claimed that he feared “God’s punishment” if he allowed the men to move in.  Instead, he sought out a family to rent the apartment.
The tenants are each requesting $23,000 in punitive damages.

The adjudicator heard both sides of the dispute and will decide this case sometime over the summer.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rod Crombie July 6, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I think the judge should throw the book at the landlord. Is he living in the same apartment with them?…Landlords have no business in the bedrooms of their tenants.

Rafe Angell July 6, 2010 at 11:07 pm

The landlord signed a lease. The new tenants did nothing to violate the lease. Where does the landlord get the idea that religious convictions (which are based on a belief system, and not shared by all) entitle him to ignore the law? If he only loses $46,000, he may be getting off easily. If he does not want to rent to homosexuals in the future, he needs to screen more carefully. Once he signs the lease, he is committed.

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