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Vancouver landlord fined for rejecting kids

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

A Vancouver landlord who rejected a prospective tenant because the applicant had a young son has been ordered to pay $2,500 for discrimination.

Jennifer Horneland had tried to move into a third-floor home in September 2011 with a roommate, who also had a young child, but was rejected in favour of other applicants who didn’t have children.

According to a B.C. Human Rights Tribunal decision published Tuesday, the owner’s sister Minnie Wong had discriminated against Horneland by doing so.

Wong, the tribunal said, didn’t advertise the suite as off-limits to tenants with children, but had identified the unit as a possible hazard to kids since it had a balcony.

“She testified that, when her young nephew stayed in the unit with her mother, before the events … she and her mother were both worried about him being on the balcony,” tribunal member Murray Geiger-Adams wrote, adding an extra lock was even placed on the French door to prevent child access.

Horneland, a provincial Crown prosecutor, said on Wednesday that she was shocked at being rejected.

“It seemed like she was trying to disguise her reluctance to rent to people with children by claiming she was doing so for the children’s own safety,” she said.

“But that’s not the place of a landlord, it’s more of a parent’s concern.”

Horneland had also alleged to the tribunal that Wong claimed she couldn’t be fired for discrimination because her brother was her employer. The tribunal, however, determined that the comment was a joke.

Horneland said she has since found alternative accommodation, at a multi-level residence.


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