New Mandatory Rental Agreement in Ontario

The agreement will have to be used by most private rentals

Back in April of 2017 the Ontario Government introduced the Ontario Fair Housing Plan. One of their intentions was to create a standard residential rental lease agreement.

This agreement is now available and will become mandatory for use by April 30th. This standard lease template, therefore, will have to be used for all new leases, by “landlords of most private residential rental units – from individual landlords to property management companies.” The following is just a smattering of what the form encompasses.

The Purpose of Having a Standard Lease

According to the Ministry of Housing website, the purpose of having a standard residential lease/rental agreement for all of Ontario is fourfold:

  1. “Easy to understand language to help
  2. “Landlords & renters understand their rights & responsibilities,
  3. “Reduce illegal terms in leases and misunderstandings caused by verbal tenancy agreements,
  4. “Reduce the need for Landlord and Tenant Board hearings to resolve disputes.”

Applies to Most Rental Situations

The lease does not apply to care homes such as retirement homes, mobile home parks and land lease communities. Most social and supportive housing exempt from the Residential Tenancies Act are also excluded. Example: public housing with rent geared to income. The ministry is planning to create different and standard lease agreements for these special groups.

The lease is mandatory and does apply to single and semi-detached houses, apartment buildings, condominiums and secondary units such as basement apartments.

Some Aspects of the Form

Of course the form spells out the names of the parties, the term of the tenancy and identifies the rental unit. It also allows for a description of vehicle parking spaces. The agreement must spell out what specific services are included (i.e. air conditioning, additional storage space), and who pays for electricity heat and water.

As well, it specifies that the tenant does not have to move out at the end of the term, staying on as a monthly tenant.

On ending a tenancy, the tenant has to give at least 60-days notice.

  • With a fixed term tenancy the “notice cannot be effective before the last day of the fixed term.
  • With a monthly tenancy the “notice must be effective on the last day of a rental period.”
  • In situations of sexual or domestic violence, the tenant can give 28 days’ notice at any time regardless of a fixed term tenancy.  

For condo units, the landlord must provide and the tenant must agree to abide by the declaration, by-laws and rules.

A Comprehensive Document: Of the 14 pages, the agreement itself is 8 pages and the appendix is 6; quite extensive. We’re hoping everybody reads the important general explanations in the appendix. Go to: http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page18704.aspx for your copy.

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