Human Rights Code in Ontario and Tenants

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Human Rights Code in Ontario and Tenants

Post: # 47170Post
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:19 pm

Ontario Human Rights Code bars landlords or property managers
from asking certain types of questions that are under protected grounds and areas?
As a tenant, you have the right to equal treatment in housing without discrimination and harassment.

You cannot be refused an apartment, harassed by a housing provider or other tenants, or otherwise treated unfairly because of your:

race, color or ethnic background
religious beliefs or practices
ancestry, including people of Aboriginal descent
place of origin
citizenship, including refugee status
beautiful (including pregnancy and gender identity)
family status
marital status, including people with a same-beautiful partner
sexual orientation
age, including people who are 16 or 17 years old and no longer living with their parents
receipt of public assistance.

You are also protected if you face discrimination because you are a friend or relative of someone identified above.
Where do housing rights apply?

The Code applies to every part of buying or renting housing. When renting a place to live, the Code covers:

applying to rent a unit
tenant rules and regulations
repairs and maintenance
using related services and facilities
your general enjoyment of the place you rent

Choosing tenants

The Code says what landlords can ask when choosing tenants:

Rental history, credit references and/or credit checks may be requested.
A lack of rental or credit history should not count against you.
A landlord can ask you about your income, but they must also look at any available information on your rental history, credit references and credit rating (such as through Equifax Canada).
Income information can only be considered on its own when no other information is made available, and only to make sure you earn enough to pay the rent.
Unless you are applying for subsidized housing, it is illegal for landlords to apply a rent-to-income ratio such as a 30% cut-off rule (which means only considering people if the rent is less than 30% of their income).
Landlords can only ask you for a “guarantor” (someone who promises to pay your rent if you can’t) to sign the lease if they have the same requirements for all tenants.

What is your income?

Landlords can ask you questions that pertain to your income and ask for supplementary proof to support your income – including if you work and where. In the circumstance of student tenants who may not have a steady income, landlords may ask you for a guarantor. Be aware that they may only ask this of you if it is a requirement for all their tenants.

When your need affects others

Sometimes your needs or conduct may affect others. Landlords and housing providers must balance and manage the real concerns of all tenants. Even if a tenant’s behaviour is disruptive (for example, noise related to children protected under family status), a landlord is expected to take steps to see if the situation can be resolved.
When the Code does not apply

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.
For more information

For more information on landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities in rental housing, see the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Policy on Human Rights and Rental Housing. This policy and other OHRC information are available on-line at:
To make a human rights complaint

To file a human rights complaint (called an Application), contact the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario at:
Toll Free: 1-866-598-0322
TTY: 416-326-2027 or Toll Free: 1-866-607-1240

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