Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

Landlords

The law says it is illegal to discriminate in the area of accommodation.  That means if you have an apartment to rent, you can’t decide not to rent to a person because of what is known as a “protected characteristic."  Race, sexual orientation, gender, source of income and family status are examples of protected characteristics.  You can find the full list of them here, or in the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act/ Loi sur les droits de la personne.

To discriminate means to treat someone different from another person because of their race, sexual orientation, etc., in a way that creates a burden for that person.  Landlords sometimes won’t rent an apartment to a family with children, to a black family, or to a gay family.  This is against the law.  Other times, landlords will rent to someone with a protected characteristic, but then treat them different from others.  They might make them pay their rent in advance or pay a larger damage deposit.  This is illegal, too.

Most landlords understand it is wrong to discriminate.  They set rules and standards, and apply them equally to all their tenants and applicants.  Great landlords focus on the past behavior of their tenants to predict future behaviour, and don’t stereotype tenants based on their characteristics.