Renters Finally Get Good News: Ontario’s New Standardized Lease Agreement


It’s not often we have good news for renters, but this is the best news in a long time. Bye-bye, illegal terms on rental agreements. Hello, Ontario’s new standardized lease agreement.

The agreement, which takes effect April 30, will see the same contract used for every rental. At present, Ontario doesn’t have any standardized contracts in place. Instead, landlords and tenants often create make-shift agreements, sometimes using downloadable online forms — and sometimes using illegal terms.

The standardized lease will clearly indicate what landlords can and cannot include in the lease: total rent, dwelling rules, rights and responsibilities allotted to both landlord and tenant, and more. Additional clauses will have to be attached in a separate document.

Leases signed before April 30, will remain valid and enforceable, so long as they comply with the Residential Tenancies Act. But once the new standardized lease agreement is put in effect, it will apply to all new tenancies.

Should landlords fail to comply, tenants can send a written request to provide a standard lease. If landlords still fail to use the legal contract within 21 days, tenants will be allowed to withhold one month’s rent. This will give the landlord another 30 days to use the new standardized lease agreement.

Tenants do not have to repay that rent, if landlords don’t provide the lease by that time.

Most social and supportive housing, retirement homes, nursing homes, mobile home parks, land lease communities, and commercial properties will be exempt from using this new contract.

Now, we just need sky-high rental prices to fall, and Toronto life will be a dream …

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