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Housing

Use of the term “accommodation” refers to housing. You have the right to equal treatment when buying, selling, renting or being evicted from an apartment, house, condominium or commercial property. This right also covers renting or being evicted from a hotel room. 

The Code applies to terms and conditions in contracts and leases such as the amount of rent, security deposits, the requirement of guarantors, occupants’ rules and regulations, lease termination and eviction. Your right to housing without discrimination also includes suitable access to doors, laundry rooms, swimming pools, other common areas, repairs and other aspects of housing.
 
The Code does not apply if you have a “personality conflict” with the landlord or another tenant that is not linked to a Code ground. Also, the Code does not apply if you share a bathroom or kitchen with the owner or the owner’s family.
 
The Code also applies to municipalities, as both regulators and providers of housing. They must ensure that their bylaws, processes and decisions do not target or disproportionately affect groups relating to a Code ground. 
 
OHRC policies, guides and other publications include:
 
On human rights and rental housing:

For other publications on housing, click “Resource Types” on the left-hand panel.

  1. Re: Submission of the Ontario Human Rights Commission on Bill 21, an Act to regulate retirement homes

    May 14, 2010 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) supports the regulation of retirement homes across the province. However, we ask the Committee to consider specific recommendations to amend the Bill to enhance the ability of retirement homes providers to meet their obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code)
  2. Re: Draft new Zoning By-Law

    May 18, 2010 - In September 2009, we raised concerns about the human rights impacts of placing restrictions on housing types which could lead to discrimination against some groups. Many of these concerns have not been resolved by the current draft of the zoning by-law. We strongly encourage the City of Toronto to look again at our September 2009 submission (a copy of which is attached) and our recommendations to resolve the human rights issues.
  3. Letter to the Editor, Toronto Star Re: 'Tenant-friendly' buildings get thumbs up (6, Feb. 2010)

    February 9, 2010 - Making sure rental housing is ‘tenant-friendly’ is a great idea whose time has come. Building respect for human rights into the Certified Rental Building Program makes a good program even better. Kudos to the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers; they are setting a standard for quality that will benefit tenants across Ontario – and their new program makes excellent business sense, too.
  4. Ontario Human Rights Commission Submission regarding Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Legislative Review

    The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the OHRC) welcomes the opportunity to provide input into the independent mandatory review of the Accessibility for Ontarian’s with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). The OHRC has a long history of engaging its broad mandate promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, including providing advice to government dating back to 1998 on the development of successive pieces accessibility legislation as well as more recent submissions on standards being developed under the AODA.
  5. Letter to the Attorney General regarding Police record checks on potential jurors

    June 4, 2009 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission was concerned to learn this past week about broad police record checks being conducted on some jury pools. While this matter raises important issues around disclosure, impartiality, judicial fairness, privacy, and informed consent, there are also human rights implications for individuals with mental health disabilities under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.
  6. Letter to City of Oshawa Task Force regarding student housing

    December 11, 2008 - Thank you for speaking with my staff and me on such short notice about the student housing situation in Oshawa. We appreciated the opportunity to share our concerns about the human rights impact of the landlord licensing by-law and to talk about the efforts the City of Oshawa is making in working with constituents to identify housing solutions. We understand that this is an issue of great concern to students, homeowners and landlords alike, and can see that Oshawa, through its UOIT/Durham College Student Housing Task Force, is attempting to tackle all of these perspectives head-on to address the needs of the community.
  7. Human rights and not-in-my-back-yard (NIMBY)

    NIMBY opposition to affordable housing development was a major human rights issue raised by consultees, including both tenant advocates and housing providers. People should not have to ask permission from anyone, including prospective neighbours, before moving in just because of stereotypes relating to grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code). Concerns about affordable housing projects should be legitimately anchored in planning issues rather than stereotypical assumptions about the people who will be housed.

  8. Discrimination and rental housing

    Most landlords and housing providers try to comply with the Ontario Human Rights Code and work hard to meet the needs of their tenants. However, for some tenants, discrimination in housing is not an unusual occurrence. The lack of affordable and adequate housing, when combined with overt and subtle discrimination in housing, means that many people protected by the Code are excluded from the housing market, forced to pay higher rents than they can actually afford, or relegated to poor quality housing options.

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