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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Housing ensures that by March 31, shelter will be available to all people living outside. (Black Press Media file photo)
All unhoused Victoria residents will be offered shelter by March 31, says BC Housing

BC Housing working to secure shelter locations in coming weeks

Robert Schram, here seen in January 2016, died Saturday, according to a friend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney, Saanich Peninsula mourn the death of Mr. Beads

Bead artist Robert Schram was a familiar, well-loved figure in Sidney and beyond

Cathy Armstrong, executive director of the Land Conservancy, Paul Nursey CEO of Destination Greater Victoria and Saanich Coun. Susan Brice helped to kick off the annual Greater Victoria Flower Count at Abkhazi Garden Monday. This year, the flower count is less about rubbing the region’s weather in the rest of Canada’ faces, and more about extending a bouquet of compassion and love. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
2021 Greater Victoria Flower Count sows seeds of compassion

Friendly flower count competition runs from March 3 to 10

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read