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The lease

Section G of your lease is not completed. How do I know how much the previous tenant was paying?

Your landlord has the obligation to tell you the lowest price paid in the last 12 months. This is mandatory. You have the right to ask your landlord to give you this information in writing.

If your landlord refuses to give you the information in writing, you can go to the Tribunal administratif du logement to force them to do so.

What should be in my rental agreement?

  • The bulk of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant are set by Ontario law rather than your rental agreement.
  • However, some items are left to you and your landlord to decide on, such as : 
    • How much rent will be paid
    • What services and facilities are included in your rent
    • You expected move-in date
    • The expiry date of your lease, if you have a fixed-term tenancy

How can I get my landlord to use the standard lease form?

Since April 30th, 2018, all rental agreements must be signed using a standard lease form.

Do I have to pay a deposit when I rent a new place?(Ontario)

  • Your landlord may require you to pay a rent deposit as well as a key deposit. 
  • The reRent nt deposit cannot exceed one month’s rent on a yearly or month-to-month rental, or one week’s rent on a weekly rental. It must be used for your final period of rent. It cannot be used to cover any damages or other costs.
  • A key deposit cannot be more than the actual cost to replace the keys. If you return the keys once you move out, the landlord must give you back this deposit.
  • However, the landlord cannot ask you for any other kind of deposit.

The amount indicated in section G of your lease is not the same as that on the Rent Registry. What can be done?

You can ask the Tribunal administratif du logement (TAL/Rental Administration Tribunal) to fix a new rent. You have two months from when you realize that your landlord has put false information on the lease to apply. 

You will have to prove to the TAL that your landlord misled you. For example, you could have the former tenant testify, file a copy of their lease, or get an admission from your landlord that the amount on your lease is wrong. However, filing a copy of the Rent Registry may not be considered sufficient.

You have just signed a lease, and your rent seems too high compared to the previous tenant. What can you do?.

You can ask the Tribunal administratif du Logement (TAL) to set a new rent. You have ten days after signing the lease to apply.


Are all the clauses in your lease valid?

A clause in the lease cannot change some rules contained in the law. As a result, such a clause may be invalid. 

For example, a clause that requires a deposit to guarantee the payment of rent or that requires post-dated cheques may be invalid.

You received a document called "Building Rules" when you signed your lease. Is this document valid?

The building rules are part of the lease. You must therefore respect the clauses contained in this document as if they were included in your lease. Your landlord must give you a copy of this document before you sign the lease.

The clauses in the building rules must follow the law, just as the clauses in the lease must.

Can your landlord charge a service fee in addition to the rent?.

No. Service charges, such as electricity or internet, are part of the rent. You can agree with your landlord on what fees to include or not.

You have the right to get your services from the companies you choose and on the terms that suit you. For example, your landlord cannot force you to use a company for your internet services.

If service charges are included, the portion of the rent that is allocated to each service must be listed in a schedule in your lease.

.You did not sign the lease for the apartment you live in. Do you still have rights?

Then you have a "verbal lease" or a "lease by sufferance", depending on the situation.

You have a verbal lease if you and your landlord have agreed on all the essential terms of the lease, such as the rent and the length of the lease. A verbal lease gives you the same rights and obligations as if you had signed a lease.

However, if there is no agreement and you occupy the dwelling with the knowledge of the landlord, it may be a "lease by sufferance". This type of lease gives you the same rights and obligations as if you had signed an "open-ended" lease. 

An open-ended lease means that your landlord can terminate it by giving you 30 days written notice. You do not need to have a specific reason. You can also terminate the lease in the same way.

You are living with a roommate and have not signed the lease. Do you have any rights or obligations to the landlord?

You have no legal relationship with the landlord. Therefore, the rights and obligations created by the lease do not apply to you. You are an "occupant," while the people on the lease are "tenants."

However, your behaviour can affect the lease. For example, suppose you act in a way that prevents the other tenants in the building from enjoying their dwelling thoroughly and peacefully. In that case, the landlord could ask the Tribunal du Logement to terminate the lease.

In addition, your roommate agreement involves rights and obligations towards your roommate(s). For example, you must pay your share of the agreed-upon rent and expenses.

In theory, you cannot stay in the dwelling if your roommate(s) leave unless you sign a new lease with the landlord.

However, some people closely related to a departing tenant can stay in the dwelling even if they have not signed the lease. This includes:

  • a person who is married or in a civil union

  • a spouse or common-law partner who has been living with the tenant for at least six months

  • a relative, close or by marriage, who has been cohabiting for at least six months.

If you are in one of these situations and wish to keep the dwelling, you must notify your landlord of the situation within two months of the departure of your roommate(s). You automatically become a "tenant" with all the rights and obligations towards your landlord that this implies.

The same situation applies if you did not sign the lease and your roommate dies.

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