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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. How far does the duty to accommodate go? (fact sheet)

    2000 - Business inconvenience, resentment or hostility from other co-workers, the operation of collective agreements and customer "preferences" cannot be considered in the accommodation process. When a person with a disability needs supports in order to work, use a service or access housing, the employer, service provider or landlord has a duty to provide these supports. There are limits to this duty, and these limits are called undue hardship.

  2. Human rights and mental health (fact sheet)

    The Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) provides for equal rights and opportunities, and freedom from discrimination. The Code recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario and applies to the areas of employment, housing, goods, facilities and services, contracts, and membership in unions, trade or professional associations. In Ontario, the law protects you from discrimination and harassment in these areas because of mental health disabilities and addictions. This includes past, present and perceived conditions.

  3. 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.

  4. Human Rights and rental housing in Ontario: Background paper

    March 2007 - While the Code protects against discrimination in a broad range of situations relating to housing, this Paper will focus on residential tenancies, or rental housing arrangements. Housing studies indicate that those who live in rental housing are persons, typically, who have lower incomes and who are disproportionately vulnerable to discrimination and therefore identified by the Code. This Paper is intended to provide an overview of the social and legal context for understanding the human rights issues in the area of rental housing. The Commission sees this Paper as the background for a broad exploration of human rights issues in the area of rental housing.
  5. Human rights for tenants (brochure)

    2011 - International law says that people in Canada should be able to get good housing that they can afford. To help achieve this in Ontario, tenants and landlords (or housing providers) have rights and responsibilities under the Human Rights Code. As a tenant, you have the right to equal treatment in housing without discrimination and harassment.

  6. Human rights in housing: an overview for landlords (brochure)

    2011 - International law says that people in Canada should be able to get good housing that they can afford. To help achieve this in Ontario, tenants and landlords (or housing providers) have rights and responsibilities under the Human Rights Code. Under the Code, everyone has the right to equal treatment in housing without discrimination and harassment. As a landlord, you are responsible for making sure the housing you operate is free from discrimination and harassment.

  7. In the zone: Housing, human rights and municipal planning

    2012 - This guide offers an overview of the human rights responsibilities of municipalities in housing. It offers information about the various legislated tools municipalities have, and shows some examples of how municipal planners, councillors, Housing Service Managers, District Social Service Boards and others can use “best practices” to overcome discriminatory neighbourhood opposition and promote housing that is free from discrimination. The guide can also be a resource for organizations and advocates who are working with municipalities to advance human rights in housing.

  8. 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.
  9. Letter to Mayor of Kenora re: Indigenous reconciliation

    March 30, 2017 -  Dear Mayor Canfield, thank you for taking the time to meet with us on February 15 in Kenora.  As you know, we met with various members of the local Indigenous community at the Ne-Chee Friendship Centre, visited the Kenora Jail and met with Treaty 3 Grand Chief Francis Kavanaugh.  During these visits we heard about challenges faced by Indigenous people related to education, child welfare, policing, corrections, and housing.  

  10. 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.

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