Searching for housing that is accessible – or that can be made accessible – can be challenging. Knowing your rights as a tenant can help you better understand both your rights and responsibilities, and those of your landlord.
Tenancy Rights Back to Top
According to the Alberta Human Rights Act, landlords are not permitted to discriminate on the basis of physical or mental disability. Physical disability and mental disability are amongst the protected grounds of the Act.
This means landlords are not allowed to:
- deny a person a rental unit because of a disability;
- terminate an existing lease owing to an acquired disability;
- add special conditions to a tenancy because of a disability; or
- refuse to rent to a person based on legal sources of income such as AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped) or other income support.
Duty to Accommodate Back to Top
Landlords, like other service providers and employers, have a legal duty to accommodate to the point of what is referred to as “undue hardship”. Undue hardship is considered to be a very high standard, and it is understood that some hardship for the landlord may be necessary in making the accommodation.
In each case the actual point of undue hardship may be influenced by the size and resources of landlord, disruption to operations, financial costs, interference with the rights of other individuals or groups, and health and safety concerns.
There are different types of accommodations. Some modifications are to the physical environment and some are changes to rules and policies. For example, accommodations could include:
- installing a ramp for wheelchair access;
- installing grab bars in washrooms;
- changing door handles from knobs to levers;
- adding visual doorbells and alarm systems; or
- changing apartment rules and regulation that have a negative effect on people because of their disabilities.
Asserting Your Rights Back to Top
Find more details on Alberta Human Rights and resolving complaints. If you would like to make a complaint or learn more, phone the Alberta Human Rights Commission’s confidential inquiry line at 403-297-6571. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can call the commission’s TTY (text telephone) service toll-free within Alberta at 1-800-232-7215
If you are a Calgarian with low income and you need legal guidance contact about a tenancy matter, connect with Calgary Legal Guidance for more information at 403-234-9266 or in person at 100, 840-7 Avenue SW in the city.