The Ontario Standard Lease. 5 Questions, Answered.

The Ontario Standard Lease. 5 Questions, Answered.

If you plan on signing a new lease, make sure you know about the standard lease that will be mandatory in Ontario as of April 30, 2018. Landlords can no longer write their own leases; they will be required to use this template for leases signed on or after April 30, and it’s important that you know how this affects you as a tenant so that you’re protected …

With a lot of questions going around about this new lease, I thought I’d answer a few.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new standard lease in Ontario …

1. What’s Different About the Standard Lease?

The standard lease is set up in a way that makes sure rental agreements between landlords and tenants are clearly understood, so that your rights are protected and so that there are no surprises:

  • Written in easy to understand language
  • Clearly outlines the rights of the tenant and landlord
  • Captures basic information: rent amount and due date, what’s included (utilities, air conditioning, parking), property rules

What’s most important is that the standard lease outlines what can and can’t be included in a lease. For example, landlords can no longer ban guests or pets, so this can’t be included.

The new lease will be available in 23 languages, so if English isn’t your first language (presumably, you’re fluent in it because you’re reading my blog) then you can download your preferred version.

2. Why is This Lease Beneficial?

This lease is designed to protect tenants, particularly young people who might not know their full rights, so that they don’t end up in unpleasant situations after their leases are signed.

All too often, young renters find themselves paying extra for things that they thought were included in their leases, or end up with landlords paying surprise visits. This new lease is intended to stop these things from happening, and will hopefully lead to better experiences for young renters.

3. Who Will Get This New Lease?

The standard lease will be mandatory for all private residential tenancies, including ones in single and semi-detached houses, apartment buildings, rented condominiums and secondary units (including basement apartments).

So, unless you’re renting a unit in a care facility, your landlord will be required to use this lease.

4. What If I Don’t Get This Lease?

Simply put, any lease other than the standard one signed on or after April 30 will not be legitimate, so make sure your landlord knows this.

I always recommend young tenants ask for a copy of their lease, just in case they ever need it in the future.

Fun fact: When you request a copy of your lease, your landlord is required to provide it to you within 21 days. If not, you can withhold one month’s rent until you receive it. If this takes longer than 30 days, you can actually keep the rent.

5. What do I do if I Need Help?

No one wants their relationship with their landlord to go sour, but sometimes things happen.

If you really need help, you can always contact the Landlord & Tenant Board of Ontario to get help resolving disputes that you have with your landlord.

If you have general questions about renting, or even first-time home buying, feel free to send me a message here. I have been helping young people buy and rent in the GTA for years, and I am happy to help!

You can download a copy of the standard lease here!

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