Dealing with Harassment from your Landlord

Ingredients

Bullying, harassment and/or threats are never acceptable from your landlord. Harassment is not restricted to physical or verbal abuse. It can take  many different forms including (but not limited to) cutting off heat or electricity, knocking on the door or calling at unreasonable hours, sexual advances, theft, changing the locks etc. Threatening to do these things is also illegal.  If your landlord is making any physical, verbal, written or sexual threats against you, you should act immediately. The landlord may not discriminate against you on the grounds of race, gender, sexuality, religion or nationality.

Instructions:

NOTE: If any of the following makes you feel more risk, please consider your safety and comfort levels first.

  1. Call or visit someone you trust and tell them about your situation. Letting others know what you are facing can be helpful, you should not have to suffer alone! Having another person updated about your situation may help protect you as this person could act as a witness in future legal proceedings.
  2. Think about what you want to do. As emotionally draining and traumatic as these instances are you should do your best to consider what you need so that you can create an effective plan to address the unpleasant behavior. For example: do you want to take this person to court? Do you want this person to stop speaking with you in person?
  3. Try and document the harassment. Take notes about what is happening and carry a camera with you (such as a cellphone) in order to record instances of discriminatory behvaior. Even if you record just the audio of an incident, it helps to corroborate your experiences and can be used as evidence in later proceedings.
  4. For any situation posing immediate or eminent physical, emotional or psychological danger contact the police at 911 or visit your local police station.
  5. Write a demand letter to your landlord demanding they stop any harassment immediately. If you wish to resiliate your lease or receive moral damages due to your experience demand these things at the same time. If the Landlord does not respond appropriately you may want to file at the Régie du logement for a hearing.

FAQ

Can I vacate my dwelling if I don’t feel safe?

You can vacate your dwelling but you must continue paying rent to your landlord unless you both agree to resiliate the lease or the Régie du logement allows you to resiliate. If you chose to vacate your dwelling and continue paying rent you may file for a hearing to be compensated for the time you could not live in your apartment.

Is there anywhere else I can go to file a complaint against the landlord’s harassment and threats?

The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse’s mandate is to uphold and promote the principles stated in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, Youth Protection Act and Youth Criminal Justice Act. If you are victim of harassment you can make a complaint at this commission to defend your human rights. Please check their site to see the steps you can take.

http://www.cdpdj.qc.ca/en/droits-de-la-personne/defendre-vos-droits/Pages/porter-plainte.aspx

For more Information:
http://www.spvm.qc.ca/en/Fiches/Details/Harassment