Housing & the law

When looking for housing, make sure you know your rights and the laws regarding rental accommodations. This can be the difference between a smooth off-campus experience and a difficult one.

Residential Tenancies Act

The Residential Tenancies Act sets out the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants who rent residential properties (Landlord and Tenant Board).

Note that this Act does not apply to those living in residence on campus.

The guide listed below (and also available online) is not a complete summary of the law and it is not intended to provide legal advice.

If you require more detailed information about the law, please contact the Landlord and Tenant Board:

  • Call the Board at 416-645-8080 or toll-free at 1-888-332-3234,
  • Visit the Board’s website, or
  • Visit your local Landlord and Tenant Board office. A list of Board office locations can be found on our website, or you may call us at the numbers listed above.

Human rights & housing

In accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code, Off-Campus Living will advertise only accommodations that are available without regard to race, sex, gender, colour, religion, national origin, and ancestry.

If you encounter any form of discrimination, including but not limited to the instances stated below, please contact Brock’s Human Rights and Equity Office at [email protected] or at 905-688-5550 ext. 5657.

The Ontario Human Rights Code

The Code overrides all other pieces of legislation in the province, unless otherwise stated. (cera)

The essence of the Code is fairness and equality of opportunity. Concerning housing, the Code helps to ensure that all people in Ontario have equal opportunity to access accommodations, and equal opportunity to enjoy the benefits which come along with that housing.

Under the Human Rights Code, it is illegal to treat a person unfairly or refuse to rent to that person because of:

  • race, colour, ethnic origin
  • place or origin, ancestry, citizenship (nationality)
  • creed (religion)
  • sex (including being pregnant)
  • sexual orientation
  • age
  • marital status (being single, married, separated, divorced, widowed, or living common-law)
  • family status (having children)
  • disability (mental or physical)
  • receipt of public assistance)


It is also illegal for a landlord, agent of the landlord or another tenant/occupant of the same building to harass a tenant on the basis of “grounds” of discrimination.

If one tenant is subjecting another tenant to discriminatory harassment, it is the landlord’s or property manager’s responsibility to ensure that the harassment ceases. If the landlord or property manager does not take steps to stop the harassment, he/she could be subject to a human rights complaint.

Discrimination by Association

Not only does the Human Rights Code protect an individual from discrimination directed at him/herself, it also protects a person from discrimination because of an association with a member of a protected group.

This information was provided by:

Centre for Equality Rights In Accommodation (CERA)



Free legal Clinic

BUSU offers a free legal clinic to students on the last Wednesday of every month. For more information and/or to book your appointment, please visit: http://www.busu.net/services/student-services/student-legal-clinic/