When renting a property or a rental, there is a need for an agreement. This agreement is between the landlord and the tenant and is usually drafted to avoid disputes or legal action in the future. The Ontario Standard Lease is one of these agreements.
Also known as the residential tenancy agreement, the Ontario Standard Lease creates a contract between a landlord and a tenant in Ontario. In this article, you will find everything you should know about the Ontario Standard Lease and all that it entails.
What is the Ontario Standard Lease?
The Ontario Standard Lease is a residential tenancy agreement between landlords and tenants in Ontario. The lease is mostly required for most residential tenancy agreements signed on or after the 30th of April, 2018.
It has recently been changed and updated. Until the 28th of February, 2021, a landlord or tenant may use either the old or the updated version. Residential signings appended on the 1st of March, 2021 or after must use the updated version.
The Ontario Standard Lease only applies to rental units and doesn’t include the following:
- Care homes
- Sites in mobile home parks and land lease communities
- Most social and supportive housing
- Co-operative housing
- Special tenancies
You will find a copy of the standard lease here.
What is in the Ontario Standard Lease?
There are 17 sections in the Ontario Standard Lease, they are:
1. Names of parties to the agreement
This includes the names of the landlord(s) and tenant(s) who are agreeing to the tenancy.
2. Rental Unit
This section includes the address and description of the rental unit that is being rented. It also consists of the number of parking spaces (if any) and their location. If the prenatal unit is a condo, it must be indicated. The tenant will also agree to follow the condominium declaration, bylaws, and landlord rules.
3. Contact Information
In this section, the landlord will provide an address to which notices will be sent. There’s also space for the email addresses of the landlord and tenant. This section allows them to receive formal notifications by email. However, only legal notices permitted by the Landlord and Tenant Board can be sent by email. This section also provides a space for the landlord’s additional contact information for emergencies or day-to-day communication.
4. Terms Of Tenancy Agreement
The landlord must issue the date that the tenant will have the right to move into the rental unit and how long the tenancy will last.
This section has the total rent or lawful rent. It is the total of the following amounts:
- Base rent for the rental unit
- Other charges for parking or services like air conditioning that the landlord provides to the tenant.
Further rent increase will be based on the total rent. Inclusive in this section is information on when the rent is to be paid, the payment mode, and who will receive the payment. Any administrative charges for returned checks from a financial institution should also be provided.
6. Services and Utilitiies
This section includes the services to be included or not in the total rent. That is services that are in the base rent and services with separate charges. The landlord and tenant will also agree on who is responsible for utilities at the rental unit.
7. Rent discounts
A landlord can offer a rent discount in this section, and after it ends, the tenant must pay the lawful rent and legal increases.
8. Rent Deposit
This section includes an agreement on whether or not a rent deposited is required and the amount. As per law, the amount is limited, and you cannot use it in place of a damage deposit.
9. KEY Deposit
Here, both parties (landlord and tenant) agree on whether a key deposit is required and the amount. The law also limits the amount and how it should be treated.
Usually, under provincial law, smoking is prohibited in any indoor building areas outside the rental unit. Under this section, the landlord and the tenant can agree to smoke inside the rental unit.
11. Tenant Insurance
Here, both parties can agree on if the tenant needs to have liability insurance. If the landlord requests proof of the insurance coverage, the tenant must provide it. It is, however, the tenant’s choice to get content insurance.
12. Changes To The Rental Unit
This section contains a detailed explanation of which decorative items the tenant can install and that they must have received the landlord’s permission to make changes to the unit. A tenant or landlord cannot alter this section.
13. Maintenance And Repairs
Here, it stated that the landlord must be responsible for maintaining the rental unit and property. Still, the tenant is liable for repairs and damages caused by them or their guests. The tenant is also responsible for keeping the unit clean unless the landlord agrees to take responsibility. The section can also not be changed.
14. Assignment and Subletting
This section states that the tenant requires the landlord’s permission to assign or sublet the unit to another person and that the landlord cannot withhold consent without a valid reason. This section cannot be changed.
15. Additional Terms
In this section, additional terms for the units that cannot be changed can be made here. These terms must be written in plain language and clearly state what the landlord and tenant must do or do not comply with the terms. If agreed on, these rules must be attached to the lease agreement. If these terms are typed, they must be organized in a font size of at least 10 points. However, some terms are void and not legally bound, such as;
- Not allowing pets (except in a condo where specific pains are not allowed)
- We are not allowing guests, roommates or additional occupants.
- Requesting payments that are not permitted under the Act
- Asking for prices for repairs that the landlord is solely responsible for
Both parties should seek legal advice before agreeing to additional terms.
16. Changes to this agreement
Here, any change to the agreement must be agreed to in writing.
After all the parties have agreed to all the terms, they are to sign. They may sign online if agreed by both of them. A copy of the agreement must be given to the tenant within 21 days after the tenant signs it. If the tenants are more than one, each will be responsible for all tenant obligations, including the full amount of rent.
When a tenant’s agreement ends, the tenant does not have to move out, sign a new deal or a renewal. The agreement’s rules still apply, and the tenant can stay as a monthly tenant or a weekly tenant, or a daily tenant, depending on the term of tenancy on the initial agreement.
The Ontario Standard Lease is a contract between landlords and tenants in Ontario. It is quite useful as it helps both parties to know their rights and responsibilities towards each other. This will help to avoid conflicts and promote cooperation and understanding between the landlord and the tenant.