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Can a landlord refuse to rent to me because I have children?

Question
Can a landlord refuse to rent to me because I have children?

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Reviewed: 
August, 2016
Answer

Usually, a landlord cannot refuse to rent you a place or discriminate against you in any other way because you have children or because you're pregnant or might become pregnant.

The Ontario Human Rights Code protects you from these and many other types of discrimination.

Landlords also cannot ask you questions or advertise in a way that discriminates. For example, a landlord must not:

  • call a building "adult-only" or "adult lifestyle"
  • advertise a unit as "Suitable for young professionals"
  • show you only certain units or floors that they say are better for a family with children

Exceptions

If the tenant would be sharing a kitchen or bathroom with the owner or their family, the owner can refuse to rent to anyone for any reason.

There are also exceptions for seniors' housing, and housing that is designed to help people who are also protected by the Human Rights Code, for example, people with certain kinds of disabilities.

Learn more about this topic
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)

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