How the recent changes in Residential Tenancies Act affect Ontario Residential Landlords?

How the recent changes in the Residential Tenancies Act affect Ontario Landlords?

The Residential Tenancies Act regulates how leases are structured to ensure tenants rights are protected under the Act in the event they face unlawful rent increases or eviction, and sets out restrictions on when a Landlord can give notice to the Tenant to vacate.

The new Residential Standard Form Lease must be used after April 30th, 2018.

The Government has just released a new Residential Standards Form Lease which will become mandatory for tenancy agreements signed after April 30, 2018. If the Landlord fails to use this form, the Tenant can demand the landlord to provide it or withhold up to one month's rent. If the lease form with the mandated terms is not used within 30 days of the tenant's request, the tenant can give notice to terminate any lease with 60 days notice.

Rent control changes under the recent changes in Residential Tenancies Law

The new changes now extends rent control to private rentals with an annual cap on rent increase.

2017 rent increase 1.7%

2018 rent increase 1.8%

What you need to know when selling a rental property

Terminating a tenancy must be in accordance with the Act. If the Landlord or his immediate family wants to move back into the property for family reason once the term of the lease expires, the Landlord is subject to a penalty equal to ONE month's paid to the Tenant. The N11 form has to be completed.

If the Tenant elects to leave first, no forms are required.

No penalty for Landlord if the Buyer is moving in: When the property is sold to a Buyer who will be occupying the premise as a principal residence for a minimum of ONE year, there is no penalty paid to the Tenant.

Read more: Ontario's rent and housing reform: 16 big changes explained in charts

Average lease rate in the City of Toronto Q4 2017 based on TREB statistics

Studio $1,676

One Bedroom $2,036

Two Bedroom $2,795

Three Bedroom $3,953

If you are a Landlord thinking of renting out your property yourself, make sure you understand the new changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, and screen the tenant properly prior to signing the lease. Any violation of the Act by the Landlord can be subject to a fine of up to $25,000 issued by the Landlord Tenant Board as well as any remedial cost associated with the Tenant's complaint. You can download my Rental Interview Form here.

However, if you are a first time Landlord who doesn't know where to begin or have the time to rent out your property, hire a licenced REALTOR to help you find a great tenant as well as execute the legal paperwork to ensure a smooth transition when leasing your property.

Landlords FAQ:

Can a landlord raise rent before the end of the first year?

In Ontario, Landlords are only allowed to raise rent at the end of the tenancy. In order for the landlord to increase rent, the amount of increase must fall under the guidelines of the Act (with some exceptions).

What if I find out my tenant has Airbnb my rental unit?

It's becoming increasing common that tenants rent out the unit without the knowledge of the landlord, but it's hard to argue if this falls under an illegal sublet. As best practice when siging a lease, it's best to provide a clause in the schedule as an additional provision as an attempt to prevent it in your rental property.

How do landlords screen tenants? Typically, Lanlords will ask for supporting documents to proof your financial ability pay rent. Documents can include but not limited to employment letter, credit report with fico score, current and past landlord references, employment references.

Do I need a property manager? Landlord has to fulfill certain obligations to address concerns brought up by tenants 24 hours a day. If you are a landlord who is not familiar with the rental law, or is often away and might not be readily available to deal with tenant issues or emergencies, it's best to engage the services of a professional property manager.

Can I collect a damage deposit in Ontario? No. Under the Act, Ontario lanlords are not permitted to ask for a damage deposit. However, there can be a mutually agreed provision in the lease that tenant may be responsible to pay for damages caused by tenant at the end of the term.

I am selling my rental property. Can I give the tenant notice to leave before I have a secured a buyer? No. Under the new RTA, you can only terminate a tenancy only if you are moving into the unit for family reason or the have a buyer who will be moving in, whether under a lease or on month to month. The 60 days notice is counted from the day rent is normally paid, not from calendar days.

Can landlords collect key deposits in rental agreements?

Landlords can collect key deposits only if key deposits are refundable when tenants ends the lease and return the original sets of keys. The amount of the key deposit canno tbe more than the replacement cost for the keys and fobs.

There is a help reference guide for Landlords if you are interested in more related topics written by real estate lawyer Mark Weisleder: Guide for Residential Landlords in Ontario


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