Residential Leases in Ontario

Residential Leases in Ontario

Whether you are an investor, landlord, or renter, keeping up to date on what the current legislation surrounding residential leases in Ontario is important to keep yourself protected.

Who Makes the Rules?

The first thing to know is that residential tenancies are provincially legislated. There are a lot of misconceptions (by both landlords and tenants) about what your rights are. Remember, things work very differently across the provinces and in the US. Here in Ontario, residential tenancy is legislated by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006

What is the Purpose of the Residential Tenancies Act?

The primary purpose of the Act is “to provide protection for residential tenants from unlawful rent increases and unlawful evictions, to establish a framework for the regulation of residential rents, to balance the rights and responsibilities of residential landlords and tenants and to provide for the adjudication of disputes and for other processes to informally resolve disputes.”

Where Can I access the Act?

The Act is divided for available online and is divided for the public to easily navigate. I used to think that finding an answer by looking at the Act would be intimidating, but it’s not bad! 

What Resources Are Available for Landlords and Tenants?

The second organization you need to remember is the Landlord and Tenant Board (the LTB). The LTB resolves disputes, provides information, and clarifies the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. They have a TON of information and forms available online. FAQs, an online form submission system, videos, so much more. As a landlord, it’s essential that you follow the correct procedures and mandated forms when dealing with a tenancy issue. As a tenant, the LTB provides tons of resources to help you know your rights and deal with landlord disputes.

The LTB also does a good job of keeping their website updated with the latest news and legislative changes. Things like form updates, procedural changes, annual rent increase guidelines are all posted. 

A couple recent updates that you need to know right now:

The annual Rent Increase Guideline was just announced as 1.8% for 2019. This is the maximum a landlord can increase the rent without applying for an exemption from the LTB). 

All new and signed renewal residential leases must be on the new Ontario standard lease form as of April 30, 2018. This form intends to easily clarify rights, responsibilities and legal procedures for both landlords and tenants. The template is currently available through the Government Forms Repository or just check my link above. 

How can a Realtor® help you when dealing with leases?

As a tenant, you can contact me and we can work together to put together a strong application and start looking at listings. I will help you navigate the process, negotiate on your behalf, work to ensure you understand your rights and keep you protected throughout the lease signing process. 

As a landlord, it starts with us working to find you the right property that matches your individual investment strategy. After that, I can list your property for maximum exposure and ease the process for you. From advertising, showing the home, handling inquiries from other Realtors® and potential tenants, as well as guiding you through the lease signing process.

Everyone has a different situation, drop me a line if you have any questions about how I can help!