A Canadian landlord has been fined $12,000 for failing to respect his Muslim tenants’ religion by not taking his shoes off when he entered their apartment.
John Alabi, 52, let out the first floor of his Brampton, Ontario, home to Walid Madkour and Heba Ismailin December 2014. But after a few turbulent months, their lease was terminated on February 28, 2015.
The couple later took Alabi, who is a Christian, to tribunal court claiming he failed to accommodate their religious practices after he failed to take off his shoes when showing prospective tenants, and did not give them enough warning before visits.
And the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario agreed, ordering Alibi to pay his former tenants $6,000 each, the Toronto Sun reports.
‘I was humiliated, I was made to feel I have no rights, I was made to feel that I’m not wanted in society,’ Alabi told the Sun. ‘I feel powerless. They rented my place for only two months. Two months! It’s just not fair,’
The trouble began after the couple gave notice in February 2015.
Alabi, originally from Nigeria, needed to organize viewings for potential tenants but said he did everything he could to accommodate the Egyptian-born Muslim couple.
After they asked him not to interrupt their prayers, they prayed five times a day, he says he acquiesced and would schedule them around them.