The Ontario Residential Tenancies Act outlines the legal rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords in the province. Issues related to getting an apartment, rent, deposits, repairs and maintenance, privacy, subletting, moving out, eviction and harassment are all issues that you may face as a tenant.
Renting an apartment, as a student can be a stressful experience – protect yourself by being familiar with your rights!
1. Landlords can only increase the rent once every 12 months and only according to provincial rate guidelines. A landlord must give you a written notice at least 90 days before increasing rent.
2. Charges like a key deposit, commission, penalty, “finder’s fee” or any other charges are illegal.
3. Landlords cannot enter your home without written notice unless it is an emergency or you have given permission to enter at a particular time.
4. You are entitled to a receipt for any payments given to your landlord.
5. At the beginning of the lease, the landlord can ask for the first month’s rent and a rent deposit (often referred to as last month’s rent.) You are not required to give your landlord post-dated cheques.
6. Landlords cannot prevent you from having a pet or having your partner move in.
7. Landlords are permitted to use income information, credit checks, credit references, rental history or guarantees when selecting a prospective tenant.
For more information about your rights as a tenant, contact:
• Community legal Education Ontario (CLEO): yourlegalrights.on.ca
• Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO) acto.ca
• Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) legalaid.on.ca
• The campus legal aid office – Downtown Legal Services (DLS): http://dls.sa.utoronto.ca/
• Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board: ltb.gov.on.ca
• Investigation and Enforcement Unit Minister of Municipal Affairs and House: mah.gov.on.ca
• Ontario Human Rights Commission: ohrc.on.ca