"I don't want you moving, don't ever come back here," the landlord allegedly told Kadince Ball.
Eighteen-year-old Kadince Ball drove all the way to London from Saskatchewan, excited to attend Western University. But things took a rough turn just days before she was meant to move into her new place.
On the evening of August 30, the medical sciences student met Esther Lee, a landlord whom she found through Kijiji and with whom she signed a tenancy contract on August 10. However, minutes after the meeting, Ball says she got a call from Lee, who told her she didn't want her moving in.
Courtesy of Kadince Ball
Narcity obtained a copy of Ball's lease agreement. She had already paid Lee a $50 deposit, signed a revised lease on August 27 agreeing to pay rent for her first and last month, and was going to spend a few days at a hotel in London before her move-in date on September 1.
"About five minutes after I left, she called and said hey I don't want you living here anymore," Ball told Narcity over a phone call. "[Lee] wouldn't give me an explanation as to why. She just said, 'I don't want you moving in and don't ever come back here.'"
"I didn't actually find out it was because of the tattoos until a CBC reporter [covering the story] had reached out to [Lee] and she said, 'there are tattoos covering 70% of her body. She was so scary," Ball said.
Ball was stressed and began looking for a new apartment. She didn't know anyone in London. "I don't know anybody from outside of Saskatchewan, really," she said.
"We did a virtual tour over the phone while I was still in Saskatchewan, so she saw me over FaceTime, but obviously, I didn't have my whole body [showing] on FaceTime," Ball said, adding that Lee also asked her to send proof that she was a student as well as a photo of her kitchen "to see how clean I was, I guess."
"Some people were reaching out to me and saying maybe [Lee not approving of the tattoos] was a cultural thing," Ball told us. "I'm very understanding towards that aspect of it; I'm just not understanding when it comes to us having had a legal agreement between us, and then that happening," she clarified. "I wish she would have said something about that beforehand because it was illegal for her to deny me tenancy because of that once the lease was signed."
When asked whether she was considering taking legal action, Ball said she had been looking into it. "Being a first-year full-time university student, I don't really have the time or the patience really to go through that, you could say."
"My family was constantly on the phone with me and sending me links and helping me out," Ball said. Fortunately, she ended up finding an apartment just in time. "The [new] landlord is actually an English teacher and used my story to teach her students about the Tenancy Act of Ontario," Ball told Narcity.
Narcity reached out to Lee who declined our interview request.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.