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Tenancy Agreements AKA “Leases” in Ontario

March 10th, 2012 · 4,870 Comments · Property management


Having a “lease” or a “tenancy agreement” is central to a good landlord/tenant relationship.  Smart landlords will also avoid simple verbal contracts because they can’t be proven at the LTB or in Court.

It will be a “he said” ,  “she said” situation.  You do not want this situation.

Some  landlords believe if lease terms are agreed upon by both parties, they are enforceable.  This isn’t true!  The Residential Tenancies Act  2006 is quick to point out in section 3, that the act applies “despite any other act and despite any waiver or agreement to the contrary”.  The law regulates the type of bargaining permitted between landlord and tenant.  For example,  no-pet clauses, are no longer enforceable and the collection of damage is deposits prohibited.

It is crucial that all landlords enter into rental agreements that are compliant with the Residential Tenancies  Act 2006, as failing to do so increases probalilities for frustration and monetary loss.

Be wary of template agreements that have been in the drawer for years.  The laws affecting residential tenancies were changed in 2007, and are unique to Ontario.  Use care with templates and the internet; ensure  the documents  are up-to-date and compliant with the laws in Ontario.

Incredibly, some people enter the rental property business and fail to become acquainted with the legislation until trouble develops, and necessity compels them.  Many landlords have been disappointed to learn that provisions of the agreement they hoped to rely on were not valid.   A clearly written, straight-forward and legal contract is a landlord’s best bet against uncertainty.

If you have property specific concerns which need to be addressed in your rental contract, it may be best to contact a licensed paralegal or lawyer.  Either can help you prepare a rental contract that accounts for your unique situation, and most importantly, is truly enforceable.