Buy, download and use these template forms to prepare your own residential leases, monthly or weekly tenancy agreements, and related rental documents for the Province of Ontario.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What types of rental accommodations are covered by Ontario legislation governing residential tenancies?
Premises rented for residential purposes are governed by the Tenant Protection Act and the Statutory Powers Procedure Act.
What types of rental accommodations are NOT covered by this legislation?
* Co-op housing, unless it is rented to a tenant who is not a co-op member
* Vacation, seasonal or temporary accommodations, hotels, motels, resorts, lodges, tourist camps, cottages, cabins, inns, campgrounds, tourist homes, trailer parks, bed & breakfasts, vacation establishments or vacation homes
* Staff accommodation for farm employees
* Accommodation in a business or enterprise
* Non-profit housing in some situations
* Penal and correctional facilities
* Hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitative or therapeutic facilities
* Short-term emergency shelters
* Staff or student accommodations provided by an educational institution
* Accommodation whose occupant(s) share(s) a bathroom or kitchen facility with the owner, the owner’s spouse, same-sex partner, child or parent or the spouse’s or same-sex partner’s child or parent, and where the owner, spouse, same-sex partner, child or parent lives in the building in which the living accommodation is located.
What types of rental periods are provided for in the legislation?
All types of rental periods are allowed, however, the Tenant Protection Act takes precedence over leases, meaning that if the terms of the lease do not comply with the TPA, the TPA takes precedence over the lease.
Is it necessary to have a written lease?
No. If the tenancy agreement is not in writing, the tenant must, within 21 days after the tenancy begins, be provided with written notice of the legal name and address of the landlord for the purpose of giving notice or delivering other documents. If the landlord fails to provide this information within the 21-day period, the tenant’s obligation to pay rent is suspended until the landlord complies.
A signed move-in / move-out checklist is not required but is recommended.
Can the landlord charge a deposit?
The landlord can collect a rent deposit, not to exceed one month’s rent, however, this is NOT a security deposit. In Ontario, security deposits are not allowed. The last month’s rent (or last week’s rent, in the event of a week-to-week tenancy) may be collected as a deposit, but it cannot be used to apply to damages. It can only be applied to the last month’s rent. This rent deposit is to be collected at the beginning of the tenancy. The landlord holds the deposit and pays the tenant 6% interest at the beginning of each year.
It is illegal to require key money.
What about post-dated cheques?
The landlord may suggest post-dated cheques, but a person cannot be refused a rental unit for refusing to provide post-dated cheques. The landlord must provide the tenant with a rent receipt for each rental payment.
When is the landlord allowed to increase the rent?
Ontario sets rent guidelines each year. Landlords must give 90 days written notice and can only increase the rent once every 12 months. Rent increases must follow the provincial guidelines published each August. To increase rent beyond the guidelines, the landlord must apply to the Rental Housing Tribunal for permission.
Rent increase rules apply to existing tenancies. Once the tenant moves, the landlord can increase the rent for the premises to whatever the market will bear.
When is rent considered late?
Rent is considered late the day after it is due. If it is unpaid, the landlord can give a notice to terminate for nonpayment of rent. The tenant then has 14 days (for monthly or yearly tenancies) or 7 days (for daily or weekly tenancies) to pay. If this grace period passes and the rent has not been paid, the landlord can file an application to the Rental Housing Tribunal for rent arrears.
How can a lease be renewed?
The parties can agree to extend or renew the tenancy on the same terms and conditions, or on modified terms and conditions. If the parties cannot reach an agreement once the lease expires, the tenancy automatically becomes a month-to-month tenancy.
When a lease is renewed, unless otherwise agreed, other than the new term, all other conditions of the old lease remain the same with the exception of rent increases, which are NOT automatically carried forward. The landlord can raise the rent with 90 days written notice.
How can a lease be terminated?
It is the responsibility of both parties to renegotiate or terminate the lease before the expiry date. Tenants may give notice during a fixed term lease, provided that the date of termination is not any earlier than the last day of tenancy. Landlords may only terminate a tenancy for specified reasons as set out in the legislation and cannot terminate simply because a fixed term has expired. When a fixed term tenancy goes to a month-to-month term, the landlord cannot force a tenant to sign another lease or agree to another fixed term.
To terminate a lease, landlords must provide notice in writing to the tenant, and the required notice times vary depending on the reasons for the notice. The tenant can terminate a daily or weekly tenancy with 28 days written notice. For any other type of tenancy, the tenant must give 60 days written notice. Under the Tenant Protection Act, February is considered to have 30 days for the purpose of the tenant giving a termination notice.
Can a tenant assign a lease or sublet the premises?
Landlords must approve or disapprove in writing of a tenant’s request to sublet. The original tenant can dispute a rejection by applying to the Rental Housing Tribunal. If the original tenant wants to return to the premises after the sublet period and renew the lease, he/she would be subject to a rent increase upon renewal.
When is the landlord permitted to enter the premises?
The circumstances under which a landlord may enter the premises may be written into the lease. In general, a landlord must give 24 hours written notice before entering. The notice must specify (i) the date and time of entry (between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.) and (ii) the reason for entry. The landlord is not required to give notice if there is an emergency or if the tenant consents to the entry.
How can a landlord evict a tenant?
There are a number of grounds for eviction, but the main reason is for rent arrears. Evictions for rent arrears proceed as follows:
* The tenant is late paying rent.
* The landlord services notice on the tenant that the tenant has 14 days to pay the rent.
* If the tenant has not paid in 14 days, on the 15th day the landlord files an Application to Terminate a Tenancy for Nonpayment of Rent and for Collection of Arrears of Rent.
* The tribunal gives notice of hearing as soon as possible.
* The landlord services the Notice package on the tenant and signs the certificate as proof.
* The tenant has 5 calendar days to file a written dispute.
* If no dispute is filed, on the 6th day a default order terminating the tenancy will be issued. If the tenant disagrees with the default order, he/she can file a Motion to Set Aside the Default Order.
* After the hearing is held, the landlord arranges with the Sheriff to evict the tenant.
The foregoing summary is provided for information purposes only and is not to be considered legal or business advice. The information may not be complete, accurate or applicable for any particular situation and should not be relied upon.