09 Feb Ontario’s New Standard Lease Agreement
As of April 30th, 2018, a new standardized lease is set to become the new norm for renters in Ontario. This means that all Landlords (and any property management companies as well) must use the same lease template. This applies to all (or most) private residential properties.
Why the change? Well, it’s become acceptable and common place for leases to hold several clauses which are more often than not illegal, such as asking for extra security deposits (even for keys!) and post-dated cheques. The new law will put a stop to these stipulations that have before now, been so common place.
The purpose of the standard lease is to be easy to understand, help renters (and Landlords!) understand their responsibilities and overall rights, cut down illegal terms, and more importantly reduce the need for Landlord and Tenant Board hearings that take up so much time.
Leases already current that don’t use the newest template are still valid and legal. However, the standard lease will be mandatory for any new tenancies for condos, apartment buildings, freehold properties and any others within this guideline.
So what happens if a Landlord doesn’t use the standardized lease after April 30th?
If Landlords fails to offer the new standard lease after a written request is sent by the Tenant, the Tenant is allowed to withhold rent for up to one month. Landlords have 21 days to provide the lease after the first request. After the Tenant withholds rent for one month, the Landlord then has another 30 days to provide the lease. And if they still don’t provide it? Well, renters don’t have to pay that rent back!
Even though this is great news, it won’t ultimately help the problem most renters are currently faced with, which is rising rental prices! It will surely make the process a little easier.
Are you a Landlord or Renter? More information on these changes can be found here.