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

More than 300 teens take to the polls at Mount Douglas Secondary for mock federal election

‘This is a pretty engaged generation,’ says Mount Douglas Secondary social studies teacher

Access: A day in the life using a wheelchair in Victoria

Black Press Media teamed up with the Victoria Disability Resource Centre to learn about barriers

Popular food truck to open restaurant on Oak Bay Avenue

Dead Beetz Burgers adds brick-and-mortar restaurant

CRD aims to reduce solid waste going to Hartland Landfill by a third by 2030

District launches public engagement campaign for waste reduction strategies

Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin receives first poppy in Legion-led ceremony

The ceremony is one of the first steps to kick off the 2019 poppy campaign

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read