Landlords and Tenants2019-03-10T05:23:14+00:00

Landlords and Tenants

Landlords of most private residential rental units – from individuals to property management companies – must use the standard lease template, for all new leases.

The standard lease does not apply to care homes, sites in mobile home parks and land lease communities, most social and supportive housing, certain other special tenancies and co-operative housing.

It is written in easy-to-understand language and includes information such as:

  • the rent amount and when it’s due
  • what’s included in the rent (for example, air conditioning or parking)
  • rules or terms about the rental unit or building (for example, no smoking)

It also has a section on renter and landlord rights and responsibilities, and explains what can (and cannot) be included in a lease. For example:

  • who’s responsible for maintenance and repairs
  • when your landlord can enter your unit
  • that landlords can’t ban guests or pets
  • If you are entitled to a standard lease but didn’t get one, ask your landlord in writing for a copy. Once you request it, they must give it to you within 21 calendar days. If they don’t, you can withhold one month’s
  • If you still haven’t received a standard lease 30 calendar days after you withheld one month’s rent, you can keep the withheld rent.
  • Please note, you cannot withhold more than one month’s rent and you must continue paying your rent for the term of your lease, even if your landlord never gives you the standard lease. However, if a standard lease is not provided, special rules allow you to end your fixed-term lease early.
  • Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act applies to most private residential rental units, including those in single and semi-detached houses, apartments and condominiums, and secondary units (e.g., basement apartments).
  • Some types of rentals aren’t included, such as university and college residences and commercial properties.

For most tenants, your rent can’t go up by more than the rent increase guideline for every year. This applies to most tenants living in rented houses, semis, basement apartments, condos, as well as care homes, mobile homes, and land lease communities.

Exceptions

  • In some cases, landlords can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for approval to raise your rent by more than the rent increase guideline.
  • In care homes (such as a retirement home), the rent increase guideline only applies to the rent portion of your bill, but does not apply to the cost of services like nursing, food or cleaning.
  • New buildings, additions to existing buildings and most new basement apartments that are occupied for the first time for residential purposes after November 15, 2018 are exempt from rent control.

In most cases, your landlord can only raise your rent once a year, and must give you 90 days written notice.

Social housing is covered by the Residential Tenancies Act, but has different rules regarding rent control and rent increase notices.

As a tenant or a landlord, you can contact the Landlord and Tenant Board to determine whether a unit is exempt from the rent increase guideline.

To show that a unit is exempt from rent control, landlords can:

  • include an additional term under section 15 of the lease stating that the unit is exempt from the rent increase guideline
  • keep records that prove the exemption –  in case the tenant asks, or there is a dispute

New buildings and additions

If there is a dispute about new buildings and additions, the landlord must prove that the building or addition was first occupied for residential purposes after November 15, 2018.

Landlords might want to keep records, such as:

  • building permits, permit applications, and plans
  • occupancy permits
  • new home warranty documents
  • documents from the builder
  • Your landlord can only evict you in specific situations and must give you written notice in the proper form provided by the Landlord and Tenant Board. The form must provide the reason for eviction.
  • If your landlord wants to use the unit themselves (or for their family) they must also give you the equivalent of one month’s rent or offer you another unit.
  • Even if your landlord gives you written notice, you don’t have to move out. Your landlord must first get an order to end the tenancy from the Landlord and Tenant Board – this usually includes a hearing where you can present your concerns.

Contact the Landlord and Tenant Board, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., by mail, fax, in-person or by telephone (toll free at 1-888-332-3234), to learn more about your rights and responsibilities.

Residential Tenancy Agreement (Standard Form of Lease)