In Ontario, tenants have a lot of protections and rights. The Landlord and Tenant Board generally favors residents over landlords anytime there’s a dispute or a conflict. This means you need to document everything carefully, communicate openly with your tenants about expectations and responsibilities, and follow the changes in laws and regulations. Working with an Ontario property management can help protect you against the risk of legal mistakes.
Here are some of the most important landlord and tenant laws you need to know.
Standard Form Lease Agreement
In 2018, Ontario amended the Landlord and Tenant Act to require a standard lease agreement, which must be used when you’re renting out a property. In some cases, you can be exempt from using the form that’s required by the government. However, most rental property owners will need to use it and the advantage is that the lease itself is fairly simple. It has many of the requirements you would expect, including:
- Rental amount, due date, and other collection policies.
- Services, utilities, and appliances that are included in the rental rate.
- Rules that govern how the property is to be used or not used.
- Responsibilities of each tenant and landlord.
Make sure your lease agreement is legally compliant, otherwise you won’t be able to enforce it. If you need a copy of the lease form, contact us and we can provide that.
Ontario Eviction Laws
Before you end the lease with your tenant, you must provide a notice in writing. The amount of notice the tenant is entitled to will depend on your reason for ending the agreement. Similar to the lease agreement, you need to use the form provided by the Landlord and Tenant Board. It’s important that you’re evicting your tenant for a legally acceptable reason.
If your tenants has not moved out after you serve the notice, you’ll need to appeal to the Landlord Tenant Board and ask them to intervene and end the tenancy. They will require a hearing in which you’ll need to explain your reason for the eviction.
Increasing Rents for Ontario Rental Homes
Rent control requirements are in place in Ontario and more properties are now covered by rent control since the Rental Tenancies Act was amended in 2017. Rent control now covers all private rental units occupied on or after 1991.
Each year, a rent increase guideline is set. The 2020 rent increase guideline was set at 2.2%, while for 2018 and 2019, it was set at 1.8%. You need to stay up to date on where the number lands every year so you don’t overcharge your tenants.
To raise rent higher than what’s allowed, you need to appeal to the Landlord Tenant Board.
Property owners can only increase the rent once per year. You can initiate the increase 12 months after the day the tenancy began or the last rental increase. You must provide 90 days of written notice before the new rental amount goes into effect.
In Ontario, the Landlord Tenant Act outlines the rental rights that both tenants and landlords have when entering a lease agreement. The Landlord and Tenant Board works to implement the actions of the Residential Tenancies Act, and it’s essential that landlords and investors stay up to date on the law or work with an Ontario property management company that can help.
We continually educate ourselves on the changing legal landscape and would be happy to help you stay in compliance while renting out property. Contact us at Investor’s Choice Property Management to learn more.