Tenants in Ontario are protected by the Residential Tenants Act (RTA). This Act ensures that landlords provide basic amenities and safeguard tenants from exploitation in Ontario.
Services and maintenance
Before you arrive, the landlord must ensure the house is clean and in good repair. He must provide basic amenities such as heat (minimum 20 degrees Celsius), electricity, hot water, drinking water, and fuel. These services may only be shut temporarily for maintenance checks.
The landlord cannot enter into the tenant’s house unless he has one of the following reasons:
- There is an emergency such as a fire or earthquake.
- The tenant has abandoned the house.
- The landlord has reason to believe there are illegal tenants living in the apartment.
- The landlord believes the tenant’s life is in danger.
- The landlord is invited by the tenant.
The landlord can only increase the rent of the house once in 12 months. The amount of increase has to be within legal limits. The Ontario rent increase guideline constantly updates the legal amount of increased rent that is acceptable.
Eviction has to be based on certain conditions. There must be a notice period provided before the eviction can take place. The tenant can appeal to a tenant board or the landlord during the notice period regarding her eviction.
The landlord and the tenant must sign a written tenancy agreement and a copy must be furnished to the tenant within a time frame. The tenant is not liable for any damages if no copy of the agreement is presented to him within a 21 day period.
Any duress suffered by the tenant due to harassment by the landlord can be settled by appealing to the tenant board. For example the landlord threatens to evict the tenant because of the noise made by her children. This is illegal and the landlord can be taken to court for his actions.
Security deposit interest
The monthly rent deposit is made by the tenant to the landlord with respect to damages. The interest on this deposit is legally entitled to the tenant. Make sure your landlord pays your monthly deposit interest. For more information visit last month’s rent deposits.
The tenants of Ontario should appeal to the tenant board if their rights are ever violated. If you have any questions regarding tenant rights visit the Ontario tenant’s page. If your grievances are not resolved by the tenant board, please contact legal counsel immediately!