Tenant Rights Should Be Part Of The High School Curriculum

November 2, 2018
Article Source
Huffington Post

From a Huffington Post article: Some landlords have made public requests to be referred to as "rental housing providers" instead, claiming the current term has a "bad ring to it."

But news from last month shows why "landlord" will always be a more apt term.

On September 10, two Toronto landlords were arrested, and now face 22 charges in connection with a fire on their property that killed one of their tenants and injured three others.

On September 6, CBC reported that the Landlord and Tenant Board in Ontario ordered a landlord to pay back nearly $5,000 in rent she illegally collected from tenants while locking them out and listing their units on Airbnb.

In both cases, the victims in question were students, and this isn't a coincidence. According to Karen Andrews, a staff lawyer at the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, landlords perceive students as a "vulnerable community" that "doesn't have legal resources, that don't fight back."

Greedy landlords, and their tendency to prey on desperate or uninformed people, won't go away while capitalism is around. So, the education system must do a better job of preparing students to deal with the vultures they'll face when they leave their family nest.

People of all ages deserve to know their rights as tenants, but ensuring high school students are informed is one of the best steps toward building a more assertive renting class.

Over the last few years, there has been popular support for the introduction of financial literacy into the school system. In 2017, the Ontario government launched a pilot program that revised the Grade 10 curriculum at 28 schools with this in mind.

One skill that was stressed is financial planning, with home ownership as the goal. While important, the reality is millennials are renting more often than their predecessors, due in large part to skyrocketing housing prices in urban centres. This isn't likely to change anytime soon.

As such, financial literacy programs must include tenancy rights.

Read more: Tenant Rights Should Be Part Of The High School Curriculum