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.

Shangzhou 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

Oak Bay police searching for missing man

Nicholas Hasanen has not been seen in a couple of weeks, is known to sleep in local parks

Decision on Victoria’s bid for 2022 Invictus Games expected next month

Greater Victoria is competing against Germany’s Düsseldorf to host the games

320 years since the ‘Big One’ doesn’t mean it’s overdue: Canada Research Chair

‘It could happen today, tomorrow or 100 years from now’

Santa, West Shore firefighters team up to fill the sleigh for the food bank

Santa makes annual visits Dec. 14, 15, 22 and 24 across the West Shore

VIDEO: Led by ‘Marriage Story,’ Netflix dominates Golden Globe noms

Netflix flexed its muscles across all categories, just as it is girding for battle with a host of new streaming services

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Would you leave your baby alone to go to the gym? This Canadian dad did

The man identifies just as a divorced dad with a nine-month-old baby

B.C. coroner asking for help identifying man found dead in Peace region

Mounties have deemed the man’s death not suspicious and believe he died earlier this year

Lawyer competence includes knowledge of Indigenous-Crown history: B.C. law society

All practising lawyers in B.C. will be required to take a six-hour online course covering these areas

Wealth of Canadians divided along racial lines, says report on income inequality

One interesting finding was that racialized men have a higher employment rate than non-racialized men

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

Most Read