Dealing with real estate can be stressful by itself. When you add this to having to find a place to live that meets your needs, and when you do you need to deal with harassment from your landlords, it is extremely easy to let it become a snowball of problems in your mind. Your best option is to always have Calgary Real estate lawyers review your contract to ensure that you will not have any problems later on.
Of course, having a lawyer with you will always be your best defence since they have studied and acquired experience in the area in order to best support your needs. But there are a few things you can do if you are a victim of harassment as well. Understanding the problems, their meaning and how to tackle them is crucial, and we hope to share some light on the next topics.
Relevant Acts and What They Entail
There are two Acts in Alberta that are especially important in this discussion. The Alberta Human Rights Act and Residential Tenancies Act. In short, the Alberta Human Rights Act lays out the rights of every person living in Canada, in this situation, we will be focusing on the right to not be discriminated against.
The Residential Tenancies Act on the other hand is a little more specific towards relationships between tenant and landlord. It sets the base for how the relationship should happen, and the bare minimum both parties are expected to uphold.
Based on those two acts we have a set of rules that need to be followed by your landlord, and if they do not, you might have a case of discrimination or bad behaviour from your landlord’s side.
When dealing with the Alberta Human Rights Act, we are dealing with discrimination, from ancestry to disabilities and religious beliefs. When dealing with the Residential Tenancies Act, it deals with behaviours from obligations of landlords and tenants such as the right of inspection to remedies present in the Act and how to deal with security deposits.
Next Steps When Dealing With Harassment
As mentioned before, your best defence in those situations is to look for lawyers in Calgary that you trust and who have expertise in dealing with this kind of situation. Trained professionals will understand the nuances of the law better, and will have other cases to compare yours to in order to come up with a better defence so they can protect your rights and best interests.
That does not mean, however, that there are no ways of dealing with those things yourself first. According to the Alberta Human Rights Act, there can be no discrimination on the basis of race, colour, ancestry, nationality, religious beliefs, gender or gender identity and expression, disabilities, marital or family status, source of income, or sexual orientation. This is important to have in mind.
If you are being a victim of harassment from your landlord it is essential to document everything that happens – when it happened, if there were any witnesses, what exactly transpired, and what was said or done. Do your best to keep those notes organized, dated and factual. Keep copies of any pertinent documentation, as well as written communication between you and your landlord.
Depending on the case you may want to file a human rights complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission. Both talking to an officer and filing a complaint are free and you do not need a lawyer to do so. It must be done in writing, but you may also choose to withdraw the complaint at any given time.