Sample policy for Rental Agencies

ABC Rental Agencies Ltd.: Protection from Discrimination and Harassment Policy

ABC Rental Agencies Ltd. is committed to providing for the rental, and other lawful occupancy, of its apartments, free of unreasonable discrimination, including harassment. This is in keeping with its obligations under The Human Rights Code.

Tenants have the right to lease, and lawful occupants to occupy, rental apartments (and their guests, to visit) without being treated differently, to their disadvantage and without reasonable cause, on the basis of a characteristic protected under The Human Rights Code.  They also have the right not to be harassed based on a protected characteristic.

Protected characteristics or grounds under The Code are ancestry (including colour and perceived race); nationality or national origin; religion or creed; ethnic background or origin; age; sex (including gender-determined characteristics such as pregnancy); gender identity; sexual orientation; marital or family status; source of income; political belief; physical or mental disability; and social disadvantage.

Tenants also have the right to reasonable accommodation of special needs that are based on protected characteristics under The Human Rights Code, such as disability. 

Procedure

Tenants who believe that they have been discriminated against in their application for, or occupation of, rental housing with ABC Rental Agencies Ltd. are asked to please report the problem to [insert name, phone number and address of designated staff person.]

Tenants, who require reasonable accommodation of a special need that is based on a protected characteristic under The Human Rights Code, are asked to please make their request to [insert name, phone number and address of designated staff person]. Tenants may be required to provide reasonable information in support of their accommodation request.

Staff will take a tenant’s complaint or request for reasonable accommodation seriously, and will get back to the tenant in a timely manner, after looking into the matter.

If a tenant believes that a staff is failing to take appropriate action with respect to a complaint of discrimination, a report of discriminatory harassment, or a request for reasonable accommodation, the tenant is asked to please contact [ABC property management designated contact, address and phone number]. 

For further information, you may also wish to contact the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, at 945-3007 (Winnipeg), or 1-888-884-8681 (toll-free).  

Checklist for landlords considering an application for tenancy:

  • All information requested on the application for tenancy form is necessary to determine whether an applicant is qualified.
  • Applicants are not discriminated against on the basis of ancestry (including race), family status, source of income, or any other protected ground under The Human Rights Code.
  • Applicants are given alternate ways of providing sufficient information about their qualifications as a tenant.  For example, the application form asks applicants who do not have a rental history to provide contact information for references who can speak to their reliability.
  • An applicant’s ability to pay the rent is assessed on an individual basis, not on the basis of a rent-to-income ratio.
  • Applicants are not unreasonably refused based on a standard that sets out a given number of occupants for an apartment.
  • Applicants are not asked to provide a guarantor or a co-signer, without reasonable cause.
  • Applicants with children are not restricted to certain apartments or floors within a building.
  • Ads and “For Rent” signs are free of discriminatory statements.
  • Requests for reasonable accommodation of special needs based on protected characteristics, such as disability, are properly considered, and accommodation is provided to the point of undue hardship.
  • Applicants and tenants are not subjected to harassment; harassment is not knowingly permitted and all reasonable steps are taken to terminate harassment.