Landlords & Tenants
Landlords must be sensitive, inclusive, and flexible when a person requests an accommodation. Making an exception or changes to policies or procedures in order to accommodate an individual or group is your responsibility under the Human Rights Act. A refusal to accommodate could be discrimination. Accommodation is not always perfect but it has to be reasonable and not cause undue hardship.
The fundamental right to equality is protected under the NWT Human Rights Act. This means equal access to tenancy and equitable treatment.
What is accommodation?
Accommodation means making changes to certain rules, standards, policies, and physical environments to allow all tenants to live, work and conduct business comfortably and safely in their homes and leased spaces. The duty to accommodate is based on the principle that we may need to treat people equitably in order to meet everyone’s unique needs and achieve equality.
A tenant with a mobility issue may ask for an accommodation to make their apartment more accessible. The tenant could ask for a ground level apartment and request handle bars be installed in the bathroom.
The duty to accommodate applies to all landlords in the Northwest Territories.
Landlords have the right to:
- Select responsible tenants.
- Use application forms, interviews and reference checks to assess whether rental applicants will be responsible tenants.
- Show preference to tenants in situations where exceptions apply. For example, it is not contrary to the Act to show preference to family members.
A responsible tenant is someone who pays the rent on time, avoids damaging the property, does not create disturbances for other tenants, follows the terms of the tenancy agreement, and gives proper notice of any intention to move.
Tenants have the right to:
- Have their rental applications considered without discrimination.
- Be treated the same as other tenants, without discrimination.
- Have landlords take reasonable steps to accommodate their needs when their needs are based on disability or any other protected ground in the Act.
For more information about how the NWT Human Rights Act applies to the workplace, have a look at the resources below. If you still have questions, give us a call.