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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. Guidelines on developing human rights policies and procedures

    June 1996 - The purpose of this publication is to provide some practical guidance to organizations in developing effective and fair ways to prevent human rights infringements and to respond to human rights issues, such as harassment, discrimination, and accommodation needs. Employers, landlords and service providers all have an obligation to ensure that human rights are respected, and can all benefit from the information provided in this publication.
  2. City of Waterloo Council Meeting - May 9, 2011 - Proposed rental housing licensing By-law (Speaking notes by Barbara Hall)

    Speaking notes by Barbara Hall
    Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission
    Check against delivery

    Introduction

    Mayor and Members of Council, over the past few months, staff of the City of Waterloo have worked closely with us at the Ontario Human Rights Commission – the OHRC – to create a rental housing licensing by-law that respects and advances the human rights of tenants while meeting, as much as possible, the City's operational needs.

  3. Housing

    From: Time for action: Advancing human rights for older Ontarians

    “Government does not recognize housing as a human right.”
    (Older Women’s Network)

    Throughout the consultation process, the Commission heard concerns about the need for more accessible and affordable housing and for special needs housing for seniors including those who are homeless. Submissions also highlighted that the principle of “aging in place” is central to any discussion, policy or program efforts concerning housing for older persons.

  4. Building on a 50-year legacy: human rights and housing

    From: Annual Report 2010-2011: Looking back, moving forward

    Housing in the news

    When discussing a bill to prohibit discrimination in housing, Liberal leader John Wintermeyer said the bill didn’t go far enough, because it only applied to rental housing with more than six units.

    “We are in no way interfering with the rights of individuals to choose their own friends and operate their own homes as they see fit,” said Premier Leslie Frost.

    Reginal Gisborn (CCF) hoped that this was only the beginning in promoting equal opportunity in housing accommodation.

  5. 5. Discrimination and rental housing

    From: Human rights and mental health research and policy consultation paper

    In 2007, the OHRC conducted a consultation on discrimination in rental housing. We heard about the concerns that many people with mental health and addiction issues face in renting and keeping housing. We reported on these concerns in Right at home: Report on the consultation on human rights and rental housing in Ontario, and developed our Policy on human rights and rental housing.

  6. 2. Practical steps to reduce potential for conflict

    From: Policy on competing human rights

    Employers, housing providers, educators and other responsible parties covered by the Code have the ultimate responsibility for maintaining an inclusive environment that is free from discrimination and harassment, and where everyone’s human rights are respected. Organizations and institutions operating in Ontario have a legal duty to take steps to prevent and respond to situations involving competing rights.

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