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2SLGBTQQIA+ Resources

Searching for off-campus housing can be an overwhelming and new process for a lot of university students. Sometimes, students will have the opportunity to live with their friends or classmates, and other times you could find yourself living with people you may not know very well or don’t know at all.

Regardless of who you’re living with or where you’re living it’s important for all students to be educated and aware of their rights as a tenant in Ontario. Renting in Ontario: Your Rights is a great place to start learning about one’s rights when signing a lease, communicating with landlords, or minimum expectations of living arrangements.

On this page: 

What Can a Landlord Ask For? 

When living in student housing often times students are signing a lease or applying to live in a rental unit for the first time. Ontario Standard Leases are legal binding documents agreeing to the payment of rent for a period of time therefore, you want to be aware of what your landlord is asking for and why 

Information and questions a Landlord can ask for:  

  • Full Name 
  • Income 
  • Place of Work  
  • Additional People You are Living With 
  • Consent for a Credit Check (often you will have to provide a current address to complete a credit check)
  • Pets 
  • Signage of a Guarantor (only if all tenants are asked to provide a guarantor)

Information and questions a Landlord cannot ask for: 

  • Age 
  • Marital / Relationship Status 
  • Sexual Orientation 
  • Gender Expression 
  • Family Origins 
  • Ethnicity or Religion 
  • Social Insurance Number

Something Feel Off? 

Landlords are legally only allowed to ask for and collect the mentioned information above, therefore there are very few legitimate reasons a landlord can deny someone from renting their available unit. 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 landlord, or otherwise treated unfairly due to:   

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

For more information visit:  

Reach Out

If you feel as though you have been discriminated against regarding your housing or rental unit, please reach out to , , or to learn more about your rights as a tenant.

Additionally, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario can also provide you with an application (listed below) to file a complaint against the landlord in contact or provide advice, and insight on landlord relationships.  

  • 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 
  • To talk about your rights or if you need legal help with a human rights complaint, contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre at: 
    Toll Free: 1-866-625-5179 
    TTY: 416-314-6651 or Toll Free: 1-866-612-8627 

Living with People You Don’t Know? 

Throughout the academic year, and especially when things like summer semesters and sublets come into play, it is very common for students to live with people they don’t know. We understand this may feel awkward and uncomfortable at first, so check out some of the tips and resources below to help break the ice between you and your new roommates. 

Set Ground Rules 

People grow up in different cultures, communities, and living situations which means that your roommates may have a different approach to living with other people.

  • Have a conversation early on to establish any expectations with one another regarding your shared space but also your relationship. Topics could include things like quiet hours or having guests over, but also spending time together outside of the apartment or trying new things together to build a bond (or not!).  

Don’t Rush It 

Everyone approaches living off-campus differently so don’t stress if you and your roommates aren’t best friends right away.

  • Try to give them their space and time before hosting movie nights every Thursday in the living room.
  • Starting with small talk and “how was your day” is never a bad move!  

What Kind of Roommate Are You?  

Everyone loves to tell their stories of “this one bad roommate” but sometimes it’s important to reflect on your behavior as a roommate as well. Do you play music out loud in the shower at 6 a.m.? Does it take you 72 hours (about 3 days) to clean your dishes in the sink?

  • Before you jump to building a relationship with your new roommates, make sure you are first being the most respectful roommate you can be.  

Approaching Conversation 

Building relationships is hard. It can be overwhelming and uncomfortable to have to be the first one to start the conversation, however, starting with a small amount of small talk every day (or couple of days) will help break that ice and hopefully open a door for your roommate to start initiating some conversation with you too, hopefully leading to you spending some time together. 

It’s OK if it Doesn’t Work Out!  

Last but not least, people can live very cohesively together without being each other’s best friends (sometimes, this works better than living with your best friends).

  • Respect each other’s boundaries.
  • If a friendship doesn’t seem in the cards, then continue your positive relationship as roommates by maintaining good communication and remaining accountable to one’s expectations. 


Laurier Centre for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 
Rainbow Centre 
Waterloo: Main Floor, Machouse Residence, x3208 

Queer Sphere 
Brantford: Main Floor, Grand River Hall  , x5459 

Laurier Office of Human Rights & Conflict Management  
Waterloo: Arts Building 1C12 

Kitchener - Waterloo Services
oneROOF Youth Services (All Gender 16-25)
35 Sheldon Ave North, Kitchener
Open 24 hours at 519.742.2788  

YWCA (age 16+ Cis & Trans Women and Non-Binary Individuals) 
84 Frederick Street, Kitchener 

Spectrum - Waterloo Region's Rainbow Community Space 
283 Duke Street West, Kitchener

Brantford Resources
Nova Vita Domestic Violence Prevention Services 
59 North Park St. Brantford, ON 

St. Leonard’s Cornerstone House (individuals 18-29) 

Housing Resource Center Brantford 
255 Colbourne St, Brantford 

2SLGBTQ+ Programs and Services offered by Grand River Community Health 
List of Events and Programs