The following are rules and guidelines issued by the Landlord and Tenant Board and applies to residential homes and condominium units only. These rules and guidelines are set out by the Residential Tenancy Act of 2006. These rules do not apply to care homes, retirement homes, or low income family homes.
A Message for Landlords
Familiarize yourself with rules and responsibilities of a landlord & do not try and enforce any rules that go against the Landlord ant Tenant board. If you don’t like the rules and responsiblities, hire a property manager or don’t invest in Real Estate. The Landlord and Tenant board tends to favour tenants, and it can take up to 6 months to 1 year to evict a tenant who is eithe not paying rent or causing disturbances.
A Message for Tenants
Although your unit is your home it is still an “investment” for your landlord. This investment is typically a part of the landlords retirement plan or plan to pay for their childrens education. Landlords typically want tenants to stay for a while, so its important to work together so that you (the tenant) get more enjoyment & use of the rental unit while the landlord can have a peace of mind that his investment is being taken care of.
Common Rental Issues
Eviction for The Sale of a Tenanted unit
As a landlord, you are NOT able to evict a tenant in order to sell your unit. As a tenant you must do your part to help facilitate the sale otherwise you can be sued for loss of income/profits if you come in the middle of a sale of a house or condo. Here are important points:
- As a tenant, you must allow showings Monday – Friday between 8 A.M and 8 P.M. with 24 hour notice. It is recommended that you come to a schedule agreement that works best for you and the landlord; however if you can not reach an agreement follow the timing guidelines.
- If you are in a lease the landlord the new owner can not ask you to leave until the lease is done. However, if your lease is done and you are month the month the NEW owner (& only the new owner) can ask you to leave the unit with 60 days notice.
- You DO NOT have to vacate a unit simply because the existing landlord wants to sell the unit. HOWEVER, please keep in mind that it is very difficult to sell a unit with tenants in, so try to come to an arrangement with the landlord that doesn’t interfere with your day to day life and also helps facilitate the sale.
Eviction For Non Payment of Rent
Rules regarding tenant evictions are very strict, with little to no exceptions. Here are some of the reasons you may evict the tenants, and the forms needed to do so:
- If rent is owed on the First of each month you can only give notice to evict for non payment of rent on the Second. The form which must be used is form N4 (Click here for the Form).
- The termination date set out for the eviction must be 14 days from the day after notice was given. I.e. if notice is given on the 2nd, the 14 days starts on the 3rd. Don’t forget to account for a couple extra days if you are mailing the notice. Be very cautious of dates and rent you are putting down as an error in dates or number makes the form null and void.
- Make sure to have a copy of your certificate of delivery filled out to prove the file has been sent. Once the 14 day passes you must file for a L1 form to the Landlord and Tenant board to request a court date for an eviction hearing. *** Due to Covid a new rule has been brought into place: After filling an L1 you are able to come to a payment arrangement with your tenant. If your tenant fails to keep up with the payment arrangement after agreeing to the terms the tenant can be evicted without a court date.
Eviction for Personal Use
This is one of the few rules that allow you to terminate a lease with a tenant with 60 days notice, however there are many exceptions to this rule
- Personal use means you are using it for yourself, for your spouse, for your children or for your parents. (Siblings do not fall under this category).
- You must pay a one month fee to the tenant for ending the lease (even if they are month to month)
- If you ask a tenant to vacate for personal use, and you are not using it for personal use (i.e. you re-list for higher rent or to sell the unit) you can be fined from $25,000 – $50,000.
- The form needed for this notice is N12. Click Here to download a copy of N12.
Eviction for Pets in a Unit
Tenants CAN NOT be evicted because they have a pet. Pets are allowed by the landlord and tenant board. The only exception to this rule applies to a condo buildings pet restrictions. If the condo building does not allow for pets and the tenant has a pet the tenant will be forced to find another home for the pet or be asked to leave the unit by property management.
Eviction for Mis-use of Rental unit
- As a tenant, you are responsible for the unit you reside in and the quiet enjoyment for the tenants and owners in the units around you. If you, as a tenant are causing many noise complaints, smoking inside the unit, damaging the unit or doing anything that can interefere with the safety, and quiet enjoyment of other tenants and owners the landlord can serve you an N5.
- The N5 FORM is designed to give tenants a warning for the mis-use of their condo unit and gives the tenant a brief window of opportunity to correct their issues. If the tenant does not do anything the landlord can file an L2 for eviction.
Why is the Standard lease so important?
The Ontario Standard Lease is your actual formal copy of a lease versus what you may sign with a realtor. If the forms you are signing signal “OREA” or any Real Estate Board that document is just for admin and office purposes and does not signify a binding lease. (No binding lease in place technically means there is no enforceble lease)
This form must be provided by the landlord within 60 days.
Can my landlord use his own lease conditions?
The Province of Ontario has set out these rules and guidelines for landlords and tenants to follow. A landlord may give a tenant their own set of terms of conditions to the lease but there is really no point as all of the rules set out by the Residential Tenancy Act of 2006 supersede any terms and conditions the landlord has or will try to impose on the tenant.
- A Lanlord is allowed to increase the yearly rent every 12 months. The amount that they are allowed to increase the rent is set out by the provincial government.
- For the year of 2021 the province have annouced that they will not allow for any rent increases (due to Covid-19).
- When you are able to increase rent, you must give the tenant 90 days notice & you must this form.
- Any residential unit which has been occupied after November 2018 (by this I mean someone moved in for the first time and no one ever lived in there before) is excempted from the rent increase guidelines (meaning after the rent freeze of 2021 they can increase rent by whatever they would like to).
- For landlords looking to increase rent for 2022, you should send your form to the tenants by end of September 2021.
Can I sub-lease my unit?
- A tenant has the right to sublease their unit at any time during their lease (whether they are month to month or in a fixed term).
- The landlord is not allowed to say no to reasonable requests for sublease. Reasonable being that the sub-tenant is well qualified and that the current tenant will still be held responsible for the sub-tenant and all rent money owed. (If you sub-lease a unit and the sub-tenant does not pay rent the main tenant is liable and not the sub-tenant).
- If the Landlord says no to a reasonable request for a sublease the tenant is within their rights to terminate the lease with 30 days notice. This rule applies to tenants who are in a fixed term lease and a month to month lease.
What happens after my 1 Year Term?
- If you sign a 1 year lease you are not required to sign a lease after your 1 year is over as the lease automatically renews to a month to month lease.
- The landlord does not have the right to kick you out just because your lease is over or if you are refusing to sign a new 1 year lease. If your landlord is trying to kick you call the Landlord and Tenant board.
- As a tenant, you are welcome to sign a new 1 year lease to make sure a new owner doesn’t purchase the unit and kick you out.
Do I have to Pay a deposit?
- A landlord does not have the right to ask for deposits more than first and last months rent. If the tenant wishes to provide additional rent deposits, he/she may choose to do so at their own voluntary discretion.
- A landlord is required to pay interest on the deposit that is to be used towards the last months rent. The percentage of interest to be is set out every 12 months.
Do I need Tenants Insurance?
Yes. Yes. & Yes.
As a tenant, failure to get tenants insurance opens you up to a ton of risk. If god forbid something happens in your unit (i.e. a flooding, a fire) you are responsible for the items in your unit, the landlord will not re-emburse you for all your items. But this is a small thing.
The bigger issue arises if a flood or fire starts from your unit. If it impacts any other resident you will be responsible for them and their belongings as well. If you don’t have tenants insurance that hefty cost can really hurt your bank.
How do notices work?
- Notices work from the day your lease renews. For example, if your lease cycles on the 1st of each month, and you’d like to give your landlord 60 day notice to end the lease on the 2nd of January the notice will start on the following month (in this case, 60 days starts from February first).
How much notice do I need to give to Move out?
You must give 60 days notice to vacate your rental unit. The form N11 is used for this step.
If your lease renews on the First day of each month you must give notice before the renewal date.
For example, imagine it is January First, 2021, and you want to vacate your unit. If you give notice on or before Jan First, 2021 your final day of the lease will be February 28th, 2021.
If you give the notice on January 2nd, 2021, the landlord has the right to hold you to your rental agreement until March 31st, 2021 as you waited to give notice after your renewal date.
Didn’t find what you are looking for?
Contact me with your questions and I will get back to you within 24 hours. Alternatively you can always call the Landlord and Tenant Board. Their number is 416-645-8080
Communication between a Landlord and Tenant is the best way to approach any situation that may come up in your rental. Everyone is trying their hardest to survive, live, and grow and as long as Tenants and Landlords can effectively communicate and understand eachothers intentions and motive there should be little to no issues.
Hire a Realtor or Property management company
Landlords pay 1 months rent to find a tenant. Property Managers and Realtors have systems in place to properly screen a prospective tenant. You are welcome to do it yourself, but professionals know what to look for and it is recommended to pay the fee one time as opposed to dealing with a bad tenant.
use 3rd party screening
To ensure you are not getting fraudulent documents it might be a good idea to use 3rd party screening companies that check all the information you have been presented from the prospective tenant.
Make sure (as a tenant) that you communicate expectations before moving into the unit and see if the landlord complies (vice versa for landlords). Making sure that both tenants and landlords are on the same page can ensure for a smooth residency.