Ten Tenets Of A Tenant

Do you want to get controversial?

Go post something “discriminatory” in a public forum, and watch the complaints roll in!

I’ve been very vocal in the past about my belief that a landlord should be allowed to be selective while choosing a tenant, and not every tenant that submits an application should be considered “qualified.”

But today, I’d like to go through the items that most landlords look at when considering a tenant…

TenantChecklist

Seriously – are you guys watching the World Cup?

I don’t get it.

I mean, I played soccer my whole life, and I loved the sport.  I played in two leagues as a child every season right up until 18-years-old, as well as for the high school team, but I don’t understand the sport as it is today.

The World Cup has shown us (in between a few guys taking really hard fouls and actually getting hurt) just how phony and pathetic these con-artists can be.

They dive, flop, fake, fall, moan, groan, clutch, and cringe.

And then thirty seconds later, after the referee has refused to call a foul, they magically get up and play on, when they were previously exhibiting a gentle death rattle.

The most avid soccer fans argue that diving is “part of the sport” and that it’s “strategic.”  If you think that, give your head a shake.

Then on Tuesday, we saw Luis Suarez BITE an opponent!

And more incredible than the bit itself is that this is the third time he’s bit an opponent in the last four years.  Check it out HERE.

Why am I talking about soccer on this blog?

Well for one thing, it’s in the headlines every day!  But I guess I wanted to see what kind of backlash I get for saying anything negative about the sport.

If you take something that people are so passionate about, and say something contrarian, you’re bound to get a response.

And that brings me to the subject of tenancy in Ontario, and the potential discrimination that some people feel is present when a landlord doesn’t want to lease his or her property to a given tenant.

When I wrote an article on this subject for The Grid last year, I was crucified by the readers, and I received complaints to my brokerage, through RECO, and one person even called the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

On my blog, however, about 95% of the comments agreed with me: that in a capitalistic democracy, where an individual takes the risk to purchase a piece of real estate for monetary gain, that person should be permitted to be selective with the tenant that he or she chooses.

There are always extremes.

“Gays, Blacks, and Jews need not apply.”

Yeah, we get it.

But when I suggest that I don’t want to rent to two 22-year-old frat-boys, with sideways hats, wearing “TapOut” t-shirts, and giving each other fist-bumps, am I really being discriminatory?  Or am I just looking out for my investment?

Agree, or disagree.  It’s up to you.

But here are, whether you like it or not, the top ten items that a landlord will consider for a prospective tenant.

1) Income

This is the first, and most important, item that landlords will look at.

Sure, they might want to know who you actually are.  But whether your name is John or Bob, and whether you work in North York or the Beaches, the landlord really only cares about how much money you make.

They care about how much money you make because it’s a window into who you are as a person, how you spend your time, and how trustworthy you can be.  But their primary concern should be looking at your ability to pay your rent each month.

Just as a mortgage lender looks at GDS and TDS ratios to see what a borrower can quality for, a landlord will look at the ratio of total rent to gross income.  Most use 30%, but in today’s market, that number can get a lot lower!

The last unit I leased for a client was for $1,500 per month, and the lessee made $105,000 per year.  That’s 17%, and it shows how tough the rental market can be for a lessee.

2) Credit Report

It’s sad, but your FICO score often defines you as a rental candidate.

If you’re the kind of person that signs up for a Mastercard outside the Air Canada Centre so you can get a crummy t-shirt that you’ll never actually wear, then your credit rating stinks.  And you know what?  It should.  Because it shows you make terrible decisions regarding debt, and you’re more likely to spend your disposable income on a new purse than you are to responsibly pay your rent on time.

The highest FICO score I’ve seen in recent memory is 825.  The lowest I’ve seen is 550, and this belonged to a 20-year-old kid who wanted to rent a place and I told him, “Unless you get both your parents to co-sign for this, and agree to meet the landlord in person, and maybe give them 6-months rent up front, you have no chance.”

I know, I know, you’re going to tell me that it’s illegal to accept six months’ rent up front.  But we’re having a mature conversation about what really goes on in the REAL world, not in theory.

A low FICO score can be a deal-breaker to many landlords, even if you have high income, and a stable job.

Many landlords put way, way too much stake into the credit report.

3) Employment

Here is where the list starts to go from “there’s no problem looking at these items,” to “wait a minute, what are you really looking at?”

Is it reasonable to look at somebody’s employment?  Absolutely.

Is it discriminatory to suggest that you want to rent to a “white-collar professional” as opposed to a grave-digger or garbage-collector?  Absolutely.

But landlords will look at your current employment, and you never know what they’re looking for.

They typically want to know where you work, how long you’ve been there, and perhaps get a sense of how stable your job is.  The last thing the landlord wants is an out-of-work tenant.

But they’re also using your employment, and your employment history, as an indication of who you are.

4) Age

Completely discriminatory, but completely acceptable within the rental community.

If you believe this is 100% blatant discrimination, no matter what, and there’s no arguing my way out of this, then tell me with a straight face that you don’t have a preference between these two rental candidates:

1) A 32-year-old married couple who work downtown
2) A pair of 19-year-old male students who attend Ryerson

Tell me you have no preference, and I won’t believe you.

I don’t want to paint all 20-year-olds with the same brush, but aren’t two 20-year-old male students more likely to pee off the balcony, throw beer bottles off the rooftop terrace, and have wrestling competitions on the hardwood floor than the 32-year-old married couple?

5) Rental History

The landlord wants to see where you’ve lived in the past, and maybe find out why you left.

If you’ve been in four downtown condos in the last four years, that raises a red flag for two reasons:

1) It shows there’s a good chance you’ll be leaving this condo in a year, and the landlord will have to spend time and money to find a new tenant
2) There’s a reasonable chance that you left four condos in four years because you’re a problem.

The landlord should investigate, but might not, depending on how the other items in this list check out.

6) Sex

Completely discriminatory.

But it happens all the time.

As I said with “Age,” some landlords just don’t want to rent to two male jocks.

Maybe two young female students from another country whose parents sent them here to do nothing but study will be a better fit for the landlord?

Is that really all that discriminatory?

7) References

I would estimate that 5% of Realtors actually call the references provided on a rental application, and probably only 40% of landlords do as well.

Most landlords just want to see who your references are.

If you put your mom and dad down as your two references, or somebody with the same last name as you, then perhaps it shows you’re too young to actually know people out there in the world.

8) “Maintenance”

No landlord likes a high-maintenance tenant, and often they’ll try to weed these folks out at the onset.

Any “Offer To Lease” is going to include a Schedule A and a Schedule B, just like an “Agreement of Purchase & Sale,” that corresponds to the lessee’s clauses and conditions, and the landlord’s clauses and conditions respectively.

If the tenant is asking that the unit be freshly painted, the carpets steam-cleaned, the holes in the walls patched up, the leaky faucet fixed, the towel-rack tightened, the air ducts cleaned, and a host of other items, then there’s a good chance that this is a bad tenant.

Last year, I recieved this little ditty from a cooperating agent:

“….She mentioned that the A/C unit in the condo has to be cleaned on a yearly basis (usually in the Spring) & for the past 2 years the Board of Directors took responsibility for it, but 2013 was the final year. The Board recommend a company called NU Air and the cost is about $100 for the cleaning of the unit. So she was wondering if the owners were aware of that change and if they would be doing those yearly A/C unit cleanings?”

This was just ONE of about a half-dozen “suggestions” that the tenant had for my landlords, and my landlords said, “This chick is way too high maintenance; let’s move on.”

9) Marital Status

There is nowhere that this item appears on a rental application, as it would be absolutely discriminatory.  But landlords will ask, and many of them will evaluate.

Read into this however you like, as it’s tough to get into the mind of a landlord who is often looking for things that aren’t really there.

10) In Person Meeting

I once told a cooperating agent that my landlords wanted to meet his tenants in person for a chat.

The cooperating agent said, “You’re opening a serious can of worms here.  If your landlord meets with the tenants, and he doesn’t end up renting to them, then he’ll have a serious discrimination suit on his hands!”

I didn’t take that comment seriously.

Imagine the time and money that would go into this “suit”?

Some people live in a theoretical world, and some live in reality.

And while many of the items on this list seem discriminatory, and while many of them definitely are, in reality, there’s very little a prospective tenant can do about it.

If a landlord met with a prospective tenant and found he or she to be too young, too rude, too arrogant, too dirty, or a multitude of different things, and decided not to rent to this person, then that’s just the way things go.

Don’t shoot the messenger, folks.

I didn’t put this list together because I’m in complete control of the world’s rental market, and I’m out to crush the little guy.

This list represents, through my own experiences representing both landlords and tenants, the most common items that landlords focus on when choosing a tenant.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go watch Greece vs. Ivory Coast.  I hear a player tripped over his own foot, and was awarded a penalty shot that decided the game with 60 seconds let.  WHAT A SPORT!!!

41 Comments

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  1. ThePinch says:

    I have been a Landlord since 1997. I have leased to physically and mentally disabled people, people recently out of jail; people recently out of treatment centers; etc.

    What separates me from most is that I always do my homework. A lot of homework. That is beneficial both to me, and to my other tenants. Nobody wants an asshole living near them. Least of all me.

    If you want me to disregard you as a prospective tenant….

    1. Ask for a deal, or a “negotiation”,. Be prepared to offer nothing in return, except your marvellous self. Then I will ask you how I should manage the other applicants, who are offering to pay full fare.

    2. Be rude. Show up late; bring your friends and/or parents; behave disrespectively; don’t bother offering to take off your shoes. Make nasty comments about the furniture and the artwork.

    3. Tell me how attractive I am, and creep me out about being alone in the same room as you. Showing up drunk or high creates a big impression.

    3. If you are on Government assistance, offer to let them pay me directly. You are an adult. You are responsible for your own bills.

    4. Immediately start nit picking and asking for changes – new curtains, new carpet, fresh paint, blah blah blah. One prospective tenant wanted me to move a weight bearing wall. Next.

    Meanwhile, here`s how to create a good impression…

    a. Introduce yourself! Tell me a little bit about your background. Be cheerful and positive. A bit of genuine charm goes a long way.

    b. Volunteer your ID. You wouldn`t let a stranger in your home, would you….

    c. Only bring those who are renting. You don`t need your girlfriend to help you rent a room.

    d. be courteous and respectful. This is someone else`s property.

    e. everybody faces challenges – layoffs, divorce, custody issues, bankruptcy. If you want the place, and it is within your (current) means, be open and honest about your circumstance. Nobody hates surprises more than a landlord. If you are rejected, remember that this is just business, nothing personal. Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of toads to find a prince.

    f. Chances are good that you are competing with other people for tenancy. You can grease a lot of wheels by having your employment and personal references available and notified in advance. Offer to do some over and above things like minor repairs. (You would be surprised how many people want us to change the lightbulb – and pay for it.)

    g. If the landlord asks for a background or credit or criminal check, remember that she or he is doing the same thing to his or her other tenants. Which means that you have screened people living there. Safer for you, your visitors, and your children.

  2. Jules W. says:

    I’m a self-employed person with excellent credit and money in the bank, currently only working part time. I looked at a place in Liberty Village that I was ready to apply for. The manager of a few privately owned condo units said he would not consider me as I was looking at a rent increase of a few hundred dollars and I don’t have a high enough income in his opinion.

    Meanwhile, I assured him that I have the funds to live there for many years, even if I don’t work a single day, and he still refused to take an application. I have never missed a payment on rent (or anything else) in the 15 years I’ve been renting. I have also made improvements to the last few places I lived in, at my own expense. Meanwhile, he was renting to some 23 year old roommates. I wish people would use common sense and not formulas.

    In the end I win, because I later found out about the terrible traffic congestion getting in and out of that area. Phew.

  3. JP says:

    I just wanted to point out that not all potential tenants that ask for things to be done/fixed before the occupancy date are “high maintenance”.

    For what some of the rents run here in Toronto, I think Tenants should ask that say, the walls that haven’t been painted in 10 years be painted, or that the place be professionally cleaned before the new Tenant – paying 3,000 a month, moves in.

    Maybe it’s just my luck, but most landlords I’ve had to deal with as representing the Tenants side in Toronto are greedy, don’t want to put any money into the property, don’t know the law/don’t care, just want the post-dated cheques in their hot-little-hands and then wash their hands of the Tenant. I had a deal where the Landlord agreed to several requests before my Corporate clients moved into a brand-new unit for 4,400 a month. The Landlord did none of it, and his Realtor didn’t seem to care either. A two year lease at 4,400 per month and neither of them could be bothered hiring someone to come in to clean it of construction dust or wipe down the dust that covered everything – as agreed to in writing. I ended up paying for it to be done.

    I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Listing Agents say “it’s only a rental” as an excuse for the dump they’re trying to off-load after being on the market for 2 to 3 months (which is long for our market – so you know just how bad they must show….) Apparently, Tenants don’t deserve to live in nice, clean places with appliances that aren’t on their last legs – or so they seem to think.

    Further, agreed that you should ALWAYS check and double check everything about a potential Tenant. Another agent I know of, (who is much like the guy who is trying to get his clients new offer accepted AFTER a property has already been sold) listed a property for lease. He double-ended it – hot shot that he is – and the Landlord got exactly 2 months rent – out of a 10 month period where these Tenants were in his house and destroyed it after they were finally evicted. (Okay, slightly less than 1 months rent as 1 month +HST went to commission) The Landlord had to put 20K into it just to get it ready to sell afterwards.

    I know someone else that had problems with a Minister – and all his references checked out as did the previous tenancies. If you can’t trust someone working for the big guy upstairs, who can you trust?

  4. Amelia says:

    I’ve just got to say this: A lot of you “landlords” are well intentioned but blind. Your anxiety and frustration is misplaced when directed at the tenant. (Not always, but often.) Why not take a second to reflect on your own actions, which may largely contribute to your current distress. You suffer unnecessarily as a result of your own actions and decision making imo.

    Unless you are running your property like a business, and ideally you would be running more than one property, in my experience, you are making all sorts of work for yourself. Wow – comas like crazy!

    1. Please consider that you may not be a good judge of people. I know you’re super smart and no one could ever get one past you, but in this case you reaaaaally need to think about outsourcing. A good tenant solves a problem FOREVER. A bad tenant makes you want to blow heads off. Hmm, seek a professional or just wing it? No contest! Hire someone who you trust.

    2. Amateur landlords don’t always understand their profound responsibility as housing providers. Slum lords understand it, they just don’t care! Amateurs are negligent. They put themselves and their tenants at risk (and I’m not talking frostbite.) And they do it with a sense of entitlement and arrogance that makes it easy to watch them fail. (Ouch!)

    In three years a landlord has collected between $54,000 – $90,000 from one tenant. I wish people wouldn’t take that for granted. I wonder if the market dynamics will change, making rental housing much more available and affordable in the near future. Who will be holding the vacant properties and losing money!? Perhaps the sh*tty landlords will bear the brunt of it. 🙂

    PS Chroscklh … are you for real? lol

  5. Chroscklh says:

    Back home, I rent basement apartment to bear – not hairy gay man but actual bear. He have no credit history but trainer co-sign and pay upfront. Best tenant I have. Do not judge book by label on outside – read this book. If you no read, get education. Why you do this this thing?

    1. @ Chroscklh

      You’re becoming somewhat of a legend on this blog. People are talking about you…

      1. ScottyP says:

        Somewhat of a legend? Try full-blown, undisputed, legend of legends.

  6. Cedric says:

    I believe a landlord can actually accept rent up front legally as in this article:

    http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/2014/03/29/ontario_tenants_can_offer_rent_up_front.html

  7. Paully says:

    It is interesting how our society seems to discriminate against renters in general. We owned a condo for sixteen years. We sold two years ago, invested the equity and now rent a nice house for slightly more than half of what it would cost to carry the same place if we owned it. We rarely offer up that information since it seems like everybody, or most people anyway, look down their noses at lowly “renters.” Our culture here in the GTA definitely favours owners. We could own, but choose not to own, based on the capital and cash-flow required. Most seem to think that people only rent because they have to and that they would buy if they could. That is just not true.

    People make snap judgements about others all the time. Is it discrimination? Maybe. Is it unfair to judge someone that way? I would say yes, but if it is, it also seems to be part of human nature. If people were not naturally judgemental/discriminatory in some way, then first impressions would not be so important, would they?

    As far as the soccer is concerned, there really should be an Academy Award category for best soccer dive. Some of those guys are true artists, and should be recognized for their Hollywood abilities!

    1. Long Time Realtor says:

      Really? Renter logic is just so baffling. Pulling out the old “rent costs half as much as owning” malarkey is just laughable.

      After 16 years of owning you should have been close to mortgage-free. If not, then you would have been outside of the norm in Canada, where the average homeowner is mortgage free in 17 years. Rent is forever.

      I am mortgage free and it would cost 5 times as much per month to rent my house as it does to own it.

      1. Geoff says:

        Long Time Reator – OMG you’re so ridiculous, and I’m a homeowner.

        It’s very easy to own for 16 years and not have a paid off mortgage. Your logic is only true if you never move.

        Consider a real life example: At 26, I bought my loft for $150,000 in Toronto (yes, it was a different time called 2002). At 31, I bought my house for $451500 (yes it was a different time, called 2007). Even with balancing RRSP contributions, RESP contributions and daycare at $1800 a month we still overcontribute to our mortgage payments, but there’s no way we’ll be done in less than 15 years total. So 15 years of current house + 6 years of loft = 21 years of homeownership mortgage bills, and that assumes no layoffs, no firings, no injuries or illness. If you consider so many people don’t stay in their first home for more than 5 years, you see the problem (ie ‘trade up’ houses) or maybe you don’t but rational people can.

        Many ‘retireees’ are carrying mortgages into retirement, so I don’t get you at all. There’s balance in all things.

        One thing I will say though is that so many ‘renters’ think ‘owners’ think less of them. Any reasonable person should be able to say that in some situations ownership is better, and in others that renting is better, but in any case whatever works for that person/family is the right call. Overstretching to make a mortgage is just as bad as renting while not saving any of the money you ‘save’ . Balance, people, balance.

          1. Geoff says:

            If we are as a whole paying off mortgages faster, why do we need longer amortizations?

    2. Jules W. says:

      Agreed, there is a silly snobbery among many condo owners (and managers), who somehow feel superior to renters. There was a woman on the board in the building I currently rent in who used to stand in the lobby and complain to people about all the lowly “tenants” in the building (she did not realize I was one). Ironically, she sold her unit and is now renting in another building nearby.

  8. Cliff says:

    I’ve been a landlord the last 5 years and while it would have been easy to get an agent to rent out my rental, I always took this on myself as a person make look great on paper, but terrible in person. I encourage all landlords to meet tenants in person. It’s amazing what you’ll discover. I’ve met parents and brothers and sisters and such. Friends, colleagues, etc. It really gives you a feel for the person.

    There is some discrimination but it is what it is. If you’re a visible minority, you’re going to have a harder time. If you’re gay, you might have a tougher time. If you have children…might have a tougher time. Work a blue collar job? Tougher time.

  9. honey says:

    Interesting topic, as my spouse recently purchased our first rental property, and I was responsible for screening prospective tenants. I think we lucked out, because I had a good feeling when I met them, and so far (one month in), they’ve been absolutely wonderful tenants. Mid-twenties unmarried couple, if you’re wondering.
    In making the purchase, one of the questions asked by our house insurance was whether we would be renting to students. Now, I didn’t pursue why, but my guess is that we would have been given a higher rate.

  10. Andrea says:

    PS Go Portugal!

  11. Andrea says:

    We once rented the basement of my mom’s house out for additional income for her, a 70+ widow on a very fixed military pension. You get the cute little old lady picture?

    We screened the tenant very closely, checked references, credit, job letter, did all the background that we could. She was white, mid 20’s, single, working on her degree at University, didn’t want to be disturbed by living in a “student rental” – here is the reference to the fist pumping jocks.

    She paid first and last month’s rent in cash, signed the lease and moved in.

    Within two weeks, she also moved in her myriad of cats, a scary looking boyfriend, a nasty drug habit and a series of “dates” from which we believe she earned her living. The first and last rent were the only rent we ever saw. She screamed obscenities at my mother on a regular basis and when threatened with a police search of her new living quarters, finally decided to move out. On her way out she did as much damage as possible, cut all phone and cable cords inside the outlets and proceeded to leave a “gift” on the carpet.

    The moral of my story would be that not all things are as they appear. There are good and bad everywhere in all things…a cliche but still ringing true. Until the laws change to protect a landlord as equally as they protect tenants, it will be a matter of trusting your gut.

    1. @ Andrea

      This story goes to show just how much screening and diligence should go into the process!

      1. Paully says:

        I think that it actually shows that even if you do use care and diligence when screening, people are not always as they seem, and you could still end up with a nightmare tenant!

        1. Kyle says:

          The “professional tenants”, who know the LTA inside out, and use it to bilk landlords are savvy enough to present themselves as ideal tenants, and often breeze through most screenings, but following some of the below advice can help:

          http://ontariolandlords.org/blog/ontario-landlords-nightmare-tenant-nina-willis-battling-with-new-landlord-over-7th-eviction/

  12. Mooj says:

    #9 I find really interesting, I’ve had potential landlords indicate they’d prefer not to rent to a couple as well as others who stated a preference towards renting to couples.

  13. Long Time Realtor says:

    As a long time landlord as well as a long time realtor, I can say that the most important factors for me with regards to a potential tenant are income and credit score. Oh, and I always meet potential tenants in person before accepting them.

    As for the world cup and soccer in general, it really is a shame the amount of “acting” that goes on. As far back as I can remember, it has been a blight on the sport. Even though FIFA vowed to crack down on diving decades ago, it still persists. Sad.

    Suarez should be banned for 20 games minimum, and ordered to take psychological counselling for a childish biting fetish that is abosolutely ridiculous.

    1. Domenica says:

      I say, don’t bite off more than you can chew!

  14. Pete says:

    Kind of appalled at one comment: “If the tenant is asking that the unit be freshly painted, the carpets steam-cleaned, the holes in the walls patched up, the leaky faucet fixed, the towel-rack tightened, the air ducts cleaned, and a host of other items, then there’s a good chance that this is a bad tenant.”
    If the unit is in such lousy shape, I’d say that’s a bad LANDLORD, not a bad tenant.

    1. Boris says:

      Pete, if the faucet doesn’t leak, the towel rack is fine, the carpets are good and the air ducts are cleaned, then no, thats an annoying tenant.

      If the tenant asks you all this stuff right away, then they are being a pain in the ass. If they actually think the place is a dump, then they wouldn’t have pursued the application. That’s what you;re missing here. Because you can find a tenant that wont complain if all of the above are in even AVERAGE working order.

    2. Domenica says:

      Thx Peter…I was thinking the same thing…I am a landlord.

  15. Boris says:

    You forgot about race. And I can throw back at you the same thing you said on age: If you believe that this is discrimination than tell me that you would have zero preference between the following suitors:

    a) A 30 year old black guy with multiple gold chains, tattoos everywhere, and his pants falling off his ass.
    b) A 30 year old, well dressed white woman
    c) A 30 year old Muslim guy in full traditional white flowing garb, headgear, big ass beard, the bin laden works.

    If you say you don’t care whom of the three if these you would prefer to have as a tenant, then you are either lying, or you ARE (a) or (c)

    1. Mooj says:

      Somehow I think Boris would still probably have a preference if all three 30 year olds were well dressed women.

      1. Boris says:

        And that assumption is based on what exactly? Oh, nothing, right. You are jus tmaking stuff up and talking out of your asshole.

        1. @ Boris

          You’re pointing out exactly what most people don’t want to.

          It’s discrimination, but it’s in most people’s minds.

          Remember what Mark Cuban said last month that ruffled a lot of feathers:

          “We’re all prejudiced in one way or another. If I see a black kid in a hoodie, and it’s late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street. If on that side of the street there’s a guy that has tattoos all over his face — white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere — I’m walking back to the other side of the street.”

          The whole point of this blog was to show how much screening goes into choosing a tenant, but also to see if people will admit that there’s underlying discrimination on many levels.

          Choosing NOT to rent to a 19-year-old, rich, white kid, because you think he’ll trash the place, IS discrimination, but not blatant racism.

          1. Boris says:

            Well I kinda figured that you were thinking this but didn’t want to write it, understandably.

            My point is that society, the media et al attach these words to all sorts of things: “prejudice”, “racism”, “discrimination”. But what do they MEAN and are they valid?

            Racism – if racism can be applied to Mark Cubans example then I guess myself and most people are racist. I don’t see anything wrong with this interpretation. If I would prefer to not rent to someone based on race but for a practical reason, then so what? IE many Korean families steam rotten cabbage (I used to live with one). If you are not used to it, it smells pretty strong, and it permeates the paint and drywall as well as carpet etc. So am I racist if I don;t want my place to stink? My point is that in the cultural example I just made, there is a practical reason for my preference. In addition, some stereotypes have some validity to them. Hate to say it, but East Indian people smell different than most of us. Not ALL of them, just many. If someone categorically does something based on race, then that is racism, sure, but you can;t argue that behind this word, there are real nuances, tendencies and what not that are real.

            Discriminating: This is used as a compliment when used in the context “he is a discriminating gentleman’. If someone is non-discriminating about anything in life, then is is indiffernet to anything. If you do not discriminate then you are an idiot.

            Thoughts?

          2. A Grant says:

            What Mark Cuban said last month WAS racist. His example was comparing apples to oranges in an effort to demonstrate that prejudice was okay. The thing is, his reaction to the bald white guy with “tattoos all over his face” would apply equally to Black, or Asian men. However, when it comes to the hoodie, the only reason he would “walk on the other side of the street” was because it was a BLACK man wearing a hoodie.

          3. Boris says:

            Cubans comments were not racist at all, get a grip bud.

          4. A Grant says:

            Imagine growing up in a society where something as simple as your choice of outerwear can have you marked as a threat. An everyday piece of outwear, mind you. Not gang colours – a light jacket with a hood. You know, the article of clothing all of us own, that most of us have never once given a second thought to wearing.

            Now, Mark Cuban believes that if you’re a Black man wearing a hoodie on a chilly fall evening, you’re a threat.

            Now explain to me how that’s not racist.

          5. A Grant says:

            “If I would prefer to not rent to someone based on race but for a practical reason, then so what?” Since you asked for thoughts…

            I would then ask if you would be okay if such discrimination was codified. For instance, in the early 1960s, almost half the states in the United States legally supported neighbourhood “covenants” that allowed property owners who preferred not to rent or sell their homes to racial minorities to do so. For purely practical reasons, of course: because by renting/selling a home to African Americans, you would drive the property values of the surrounding houses down.

    2. Aleks says:

      Dude, try proof reading your own post before you press send. You are embarrassing yourself.. Personally, I’d rent to the Muslim – respectful.

      1. Boris says:

        No, it shouldn’t be codified.for two reasons:

        a) we’ve moved past that, won those battles
        b) it is a matter of personal choice, a point of property rights

        For someone to tell me who can or cannot rent MY place is a sinister notion. Institutionalizing the (segregation) process is as disgusting as allowing me to be sued because I don’t want to rent to black/white/jew/man/woman.

        None of you have addressed my main point: that there can be practical repercussions of renting to certain people as per my above post.

        Folks, its time to unclench your respective PC sphincters. You KNOW what Cuban was saying. He wasn’t intending it to mean “any black kid in a hoodie”. He was referring to the thugged out look. And yes, if you wear certain clothing in certain areas, you will be profiled. That’s how the world works, it happens to all of us. So calm the fuck down, realize that the word racism was originally applied to horrific institutions such as slavery and segregation, not tome twisted fucking notion of white guilt perpetuated by PB, liberal, oversensitive idiots with nothing better to do. To overuse the term diminishes the human rights victories over real racism over the decades.

        1. Mooj says:

          People Boris Won’t Rent To:
          -East-Indians (body odor);
          -Koreans (cooking odor);
          -Muslim guy (beard odor);
          -Black guy (hoodie and jewelry odor); and lastly;
          -PB, liberal, oversensitive idiots with nothing better to do; (white guilt odor)

    3. AndrewB says:

      In either of your 3 options, you put down a race AND negative racial stereotypes about each race. What if it was a well dressed black man, and a chain-wearing white woman?

  16. Amelia says:

    A colleague of mine is working with two 25 year old men. One’s just passed the bar. The other is in investments. Both making over 105k annually. They get discriminated against because of their age and gender. Big Time! Yes, they pop their collars and bump fists too. (But that’s not on the application!) “Poor” hetero white males. Almost makes you feel for ’em.

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