In Ontario, renters are protected under the Landlord and Tenant Act, but many tenants are unsure of their rights.
For example, a landlord can’t dramatically increase the rent at the end of a year-long lease. The cost of the unit can only go up by a small percent, typically about 3%, without written permission from the Landlord and Tenant Board. (However, landlords can charge new tenants whatever they want.)
Take our quiz to find out what you do and what you don’t know about renting in Ontario.
Here are a few more tidbits:
1) Landlords cannot discriminate on marital or family status, and must follow the Ontario Human Rights Code. However, landlords can choose the number of people that can live in a unit. For example, landlords can rent to one tenant instead of two, or two tenants instead of four.
2) You do not have to renew your lease when it expires. You automatically become a month-to-month tenant, and the terms of your original lease still apply.
3) The only money a landlord can demand up front is first and last months’ rent. They cannot demand a damage deposit. They can charge a key replacement fee, but it must be the cost of replacing a key.
4) The landlord can only raise the rent once per year and the amount is a percentage of the total rent (currently 1.6% in Ontario.) However, if the apartment is vacant for three months, the landlord can set a new rate.
Click here for more on 2015 rent increases.
5) Landlords must give tenants 24 hours written notice before entering a unit to fix a problem. You do not have to be home. However, if there is an emergency, like a fire or a flood, a landlord can enter your apartment without permission.