Couple refused apartment for being metal fans
Prejudice: Mike Crossley with Vilipend
A married couple were refused an apartment in Toronto after the landlord discovered the husband played in a heavy metal band.
Mike and Lara Crossley had reached a verbal agreement with the property owner, named Suzanne. But she changed her mind after researching Mike online and discovering he played bass in Canadian outfit Vilipend.
In an email Suzanne told them: “We were quite ready to make a decision in your favour the other night. However, upon investigation of the band Vilipend, it has brought forward some concerns for us.
“We are uncomfortable with the energy that this music manifests.”
Mike Crossley says he was happy to tell Suzanne about his musical interests in the spirit of honesty – but he didn’t expect to be “so poorly misjudged” after doing so.
And he believes the situation highlights potentially worse experiences for others who hope to rent accommodation.
He tells Classic Rock: “The point is not that a couple of twenty-somethings missed out on a decent apartment. If Lara and I were discriminated against as a dual full-time income, caucasian, middle-class, heterosexual couple with good references and credit checks, imagine the difficult somebody who doesn’t have those advantages must experience.”
He warns those looking for a place to live: “Honesty is apparently not always the best police. You don’t have to give any information you don’t feel comfortable sharing, or you feel you might be judged negatively on.
“Anyone who isn’t ‘comfortable with the energy this music manifests’ to the extent they’re making business and life decisions around it should watch the documentary Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey to help them understand.
“We fear what we don’t understand. The world is full of closed minds. I hope we can help to open even one by bringing this scenario to light – and by showing ourselves to be satisfactory human beings.”
In a blog post entitled “Too metal to pay rent” Lara Crossley says: “This has been very heartbreaking for the both of us. On two occasions we were told by the landlord, in writing, that we were the strongest applicants and that she had little to no reservation in renting the apartment to us.
“Her decision to deny us the apartment based on the fact that Mike’s artistic outlet is accessible using Google was offensive, and completely infringed on our privacy.”
Suzanne had not replied to requests for a comment at publication time.