2.C Settlement and Integration
C.2 What arrangements are made for housing?
(vii) Do refugees have the right to sign leases?
How Canada Does It
Refugees have the right to and should sign the lease for their accommodation. Signing the lease and understanding its terms is an important part of learning the rights and responsibilities of tenants under Canadian law. Any rental application received from a refugee should be treated and processed in an equal and consistent manner, in keeping with provincial non-discrimination law.
In some cases, it may be difficult for refugees to meet minimum income requirements for rent since they have no history of renting or working in Canada. Sponsors may need to co-sign rental agreements as guarantors or provide a letter to demonstrate proof of income for one year to assist refugees in signing leases.
Refugees have the right to and should sign the lease for their accommodation. Provincial human rights legislation prohibits potential tenants from being treated unfairly due to their refugee status. For example, section 2(1) of the Ontario Human Rights Code provides that “[e]very person has a right to equal treatment with respect to the occupancy of accommodation, without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status, or disability.”