Dear Di

Dear Di is the Fulcrum foremost expert in sexual relations
Illustration: Christine Wang/Fulcrum

I am worried that by ignoring the offer, we might get evicted 

Dear Di, my landlord has offered my roommate and I a discount on rent in exchange for sexual favours. While this is a really strange and uncomfortable situation, we really enjoy the location and quality of our building and don’t want to leave our home. I am worried that by saying no or ignoring the offer, we could be evicted. What should we do?

-Terrified Tenant 

Dear TT, 

The first thing to understand is that your landlord is entirely in the wrong, and has absolutely no grounds to evict you or your roommate. This is sexual harassment by someone in a position of authority, and it is not okay. They are using their power and control over the building as a way to exploit you and your roommate sexually. 

That said, it’s completely reasonable to feel uncomfortable and even feel a sense of fear in your home now that such an offer has been made. It can be awkward if your living situation leads you to run into your landlord frequently, or if you feel like they’re now checking in a little too often. It can feel as if your place for relaxation and comfort is now a place of anxiousness or discomfort. 

As tenants, you have rights that protect you from situations like this. Look up your rights as a tenant, specifically when it comes to sexual exploitation while renting in Ontario. Because of this, there is no reason to be afraid of eviction, there are rules set in place to help you through issues such as this one. 

If you are genuinely feeling uncomfortable, scared, or simply want to make sure the landlord does not ask other or future tenants for such acts, there are places to reach out to. The Housing Tribunal, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, or the Landlord and the Tenant Board are all great places to speak your case. They will be able to give you steps to overcome the situation, and if necessary, help you take action against your landlord. 

Please look into these services, I want you to make sure you protect yourself and your roommate from this beyond inappropriate treatment from your landlord. 

Love, Di