A woman with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis suffered severe asthma attacks and other health problems as a result of cigarette and drug smoke in her apartment building. Despite repeated complaints to the building manager, little was done and her health deteriorated markedly.

As a result of a very significant settlement negotiated by the Human Rights Legal Support Centre, her former landlord has promised to protect the future rights of thousands of other tenant households in buildings operated by the landlord across the Greater Toronto Area.

In a signed statement, the landlord expressed “deep and sincere regret for the significant distress and exacerbation of [her] medical conditions” and acknowledged that they should have done things very differently, including meeting with her in person and “giving more serious consideration to transferring you to another available unit.”

The Centre negotiated an agreement to have the landlord to do the following within six months:

  • Develop and implement a disability accommodation policy at all their subsidized buildings, including specific requirements that:
    • the policy provide a procedure to make and to respond to accommodation requests;
    • all communications be timely and respectful;
    • the landlord is required to pursue additional information if necessary to clarify an accommodation request;
    • the decisions of management be communicated in writing, with reasons, if the request is denied in whole or in part.
  • Notify all tenants of the new disability accommodation policy;
  • Require all managers to take human rights training;
  • Make a donation to the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Association of Ontario.