Rental Agreement – this is the contract signed by the landlord and the tenant signifying a landlord-tenant relationship. The landlord does not necessarily need to be the owner of the rental property and may exercise his/her right to sublease. The rental terms, penalties, and time period are all stipulated in this rental agreement including the required notice period if one of the parties wishes to terminate the contract. An agreement could also include other conditions such as default conditions, specific remedies, restrictive use etc.
Ontario Government created a mandatory lease agreement which has to be signed by both parties to the agreement. It is helpful to have additional conditions to the agreement provided in appendix as the government agreement does not have everything the landlord and tenant may want to put in the lease.
The basic responsibility of the landlord is to make repairs and maintenance to the rental property and the tenant should keep the property clean.
Remember that the rental agreement is considered a legal contract in Ontario and should be enforced by both parties in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006. If some conditions or terms in the agreement are found to be inconsistent with the Act, the contract will not be enforced by the Landlord and Tenant Board. Regardless of whether the agreement is written or oral, the landlord is obliged to give the following to the tenant:
- A copy of the tenancy agreement.
- Proper and detailed information about the rights and responsibilities of both parties.
- The landlord’s complete name and address for future communication and submission of notices and other documents
Residential Tenancies Act of 2006
In Ontario, the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 governs the rental terms and guidelines, rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords for most properties including care homes, boarding houses, and mobile homes, but does not cover commercial leasing.
Specific matters covered in the Act are:
- Landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities
- Tenancy agreement
- Rental rules
- Issues concerning maintenance and repairs
- Care and Mobile homes
- Entering the rental unit
- Termination of a tenancy
- Landlord and Tenant Board
- Vital services
- Guidelines for evicting a tenant
- Enforcement of an order
- and more
Here are some of the issues covered concerning Tenancy Agreements in the Residential Tenancies Act:
- Selecting prospective tenants
- Information to be provided by landlord
- Commencement of tenancy
- “No pet” provisions void
- Frustrated contracts
Here are some issues covered in Rules Relating to Rent:
- Security deposits and limitations
- Rent deposit (if required)
- Post-dated cheques
- Receipt for payment
- Landlord’s duty and rent increases
- Coerced agreement void
- Lawful rent
- Reduction in services
- Municipal taxes
Reasons to Attend the LTB Board
One of the most common reasons why a landlord may need to go to the Tribunal is because the tenant is in arrears of rent. Other reasons may be that the tenant interferes with the Landlord’s lawful rights, interests and privileges as well as enjoyment of the property, the other tenants’ enjoyment of the property or committing an illegal act.
On the tenant’s part, some reasons would be that there has been a violation of rights as a tenant through poor services like heating, water, electricity, etc. Other violations may be that the landlord entered the tenant’s unit without permission, illegally taking things out of the unit, or harassing the tenant or his/her family members. If any party files an application with the Board, both parties should appear for the hearing. If either party fails to attend, the hearing will be heard ex-parte (without other side) and the board can issue an eviction order.
How Y.M. Paralegal Services Can Help
Tenants may contact Y.M. Paralegal Services if they feel their rights have been violated and they need a professional legal representative to fight for them.
For landlords, it is the best practice to act immediately for any tenancy related disputes. Be aware that a notice of termination has to be served on the tenant prior to filing an application to terminate the tenancy. Then it may take a few months from the time the notice has been served to the actual day the tenant vacates the property. Call Y.M. Paralegal Services to help you prepare a notice of termination for your tenant and fight for your rights.
Y.M. Paralegal Services specializes in all tenancy matters, for both landlord and tenant. Y.M. Paralegal Services can give you advice on all residential tenancy matters or represent you at the Landlord and Tenant Board.