Couple denied chance to rent apartment after landlord discovers husband is in a metal band

Mike and Lara Crossley say this demonstrates that the 'world is still full of closed minds'

A couple in Toronto have hit out after they were denied the chance to rent an apartment when their prospective landlord discovered that one of the pair played in a heavy metal band.

The couple, who are Mike and Lara Crossley, allege that they had reached a verbal agreement with the property owner, who is simply known as ‘Suzanne’, but she reneged on the deal shortly after when she discovered that Mike played bass in Canadian metallers Vilipend.

In an email sent soon after, Suzanne told the couple: “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.”


Speaking to Classic Rock about the decision, Mike Crossley said that it demonstrates that the “world is still full of closed minds” and said he wondered what kind of precedent this could set.

He said of this: “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.”

Crossley then said he wished he hadn’t been upfront about being in the band and said people should be careful what they disclose.

He added: “Honesty is apparently not always the best policy. You don’t have to give any information you don’t feel comfortable sharing, or you feel you might be judged negatively on. 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.”

Lara Crossley has also given her views on the subjects, calling the decision “heartbreaking”. She wrote on her blog: “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’ has declined to comment on the situation.