The raising of the Pride and Transgender flags signal the start of Pride Week in Victoria, running from July 1 to 9. (Black Press Media file photo)

The raising of the Pride and Transgender flags signal the start of Pride Week in Victoria, running from July 1 to 9. (Black Press Media file photo)

Gay tenant outed at work by landlord

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal orders $5,000

  • Oct. 19, 2018 8:01 a.m.

A landlord was ordered to pay $5,000 to a former tenant after the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal in Victoria found the landlord outed the man at work.

“Mr. Li wears casual male clothing and occasionally enjoys wearing female clothing. Mr. Li discussed his sexuality with the [landlords]. He wanted to feel comfortable where he lives, and did not want to hide or be someone else. Mr. Li said that, at the time, the [landlords] knew that he was not openly gay at work,” the tribunal’s Oct. 16 decision said.

Mr. Li, a young gay man, lived in a suite rented by Mr. B and Mr. B’s spouse in their home. Li only lived in the suite for six months, but personal conflict between the tenant and former landlord continued with three litigations and two years.

READ MORE: James Bay tenants seek renter protection, compensation for ongoing construction

Li sent Mr. B a photo of himself dressed in a dress and heels while the landlords were at a romantic dinner. Mr. B’s spouse was upset by the photo. Li wasn’t clear why he sent the photograph to only one of them, and why he sent it while the couple was on a date, but Li said he wasn’t interested in Mr. B sexually.

The landlords and tenant also argued over parking. the landlords alleged that Li’s parking created conflict with neighbours and at one point an unlocked gate led to a theft from their home business. In a text about the parking, Li signed off “Love you.”

When the landlords decided to put their house up for sale, they said Li became increasingly difficult about viewing his unit to prospective buyers, asking for written notice instead of by text message. Li decided to move out, he said, because the parking was becoming too much of a hassle.

On Feb. 20, 2017, Mr. B came to Li’s work and showed Li’s manager the photo. The next day, Li reported the incident to police to apply for a restraining order and peace bond. On Oct. 16, the tribunal chair Diana Juricevic’s decision found Mr. B had attempted to interfere with Li’s employment.

“Given that the photograph was of Mr. Li in a dress, that interference reasonably amounts to an adverse impact on Mr. Li on the basis of his gender identity and expression. That Mr. Li may have been a bad tenant, or had romantic feelings for his landlord, cannot form a justification for what Mr. B did,” Juricevic’s decision said.

The damage deposit for the rental was only returned after a provincial court hearing.

*Editor’s note: This article was updated to reflect an amendment to the original decision in accordance with the anonymization order issued on Nov. 30, 2018, by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

READ MORE: Victoria housing advocates applaud province’s move to protect tenants


@KeiliBartlett
keili.bartlett@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Chef Trevor Randle leads a June 21 online cooking featuring recipes – beef zesty lettuce wraps, blueberry strudel and blueberry spritzer. (Courtesy We Heart Local BC)
Free online cooking course explores B.C. blueberries and beef

Chef Trevor Randle calls them the province’s most flavourful foods

Island Savings kick-starts the Equipped to Heal campaign with $120,000. (Courtesy Victoria Hospitals Foundation)
Latest Victoria Hospitals Foundation campaign targets $1M for mental health

Goal is to outfit new 19-bed unit at Eric Martin Pavilion

Shaelyn Sinnott of Oak Bay Volunteer Services delivers groceries for client Irene Kenny. The organization has kept up delivery of food and medication throughout all phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy Oak Bay Volunteer Services)
Oak Bay volunteers keep critical services running

Duo drove between Oak Bay and Jubilee three days a week, twice a day during pandemic

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read