In Ontario, both tenants and landlords have rights, and there are laws that both parties must obey. Failure to do so can lead to legal troubles and court cases, so it is important to understand your rights and to learn about the rules you must follow.
Landlords have a number of important rights, including the right to collect rent. They also have the right to select their tenants based on credit checks, rental history, references, income information and other criteria of this nature, all of which are outlined in the Ontario Human Rights Code. Other landlord rights include increasing the rent up to the yearly limit determined by the government and entering the rental premises for specific purposes, including making repairs, maintaining the property and in the event of an emergency. Lastly, landlords do have the right to evict tenants if they breach the terms of the lease or breach the Residential Tenancies Act.
Landlords also have obligations and cannot discriminate against a potential tenant because of their race, religion, sex, age, ethnic origin, a disability or family status. Once a tenant moves in, they have the right to a safe home, tenant insurance and access to vital services like heat, electricity, fuel and both hot and cold water. As a landlord, you need to make sure you can provide your tenants with all of these services.
When it comes to the renewal of a lease, the lease can be renewed or extended if both the landlord and tenant agree to this. The renewal agreement can contain the same terms or different ones, and this information must be clearly specified. If both parties cannot come to an agreement once the fixed-term ends, the tenancy will automatically convert to a month-to-month agreement if the tenant pays rent on a monthly basis. If the tenant pays rent every week, the tenancy will automatically convert to a week-to-week tenancy.
When it comes to the termination of a lease, both the landlord and tenant are responsible for renegotiating the terms of the lease, and this must be done before a lease can be terminated. Tenants have the right to give a notice of termination during their fixed term lease but only if the date of the termination is not earlier than the last day of the tenancy. Their notice must also be in full compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act. Landlords are able to terminate a tenancy but only for specific and valid reasons stated by the Official Legislation and cannot terminate a tenant just because their fixed term has come to an end.
Landlord and tenant laws can be tricky, so it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side, and Ontario Legal Pool can help in this regard. Whether you need a landlord lawyer, paralegal services or assistance with small claims, we do it all, so if you are in the North York or Vaughan areas, contact us today!