Tenants' Rights: Free Download
Download all of our Survival Guide PDFs in one file!
- First Time Renters
- Everything you need to know before signing a lease for the first time.
- Moving Out
- A quick set of must-knows before leaving a lease and apartment.
- Things Landlords Can't Do
- But do anyway! A must-read guide to understand your rights as a tenant.
Tenant Survival Guide: First Time Leasing in Ontario
Your landlord must use a standard lease.
Your Ontario lease should include the basic terms and conditions of your rental agreement.
Choose your roommates carefully.
Try to find roommates who are self-sufficient and mature. Finding roommates with similar lifestyles and habits is a helpful starting point.
Security deposits = one month’s rent.
Deposits cannot be more than one month’s rent, and must be applied towards the final month’s rent. Separate security/damage deposits are not allowed.
Always see a place before signing a lease.
Fraud schemes are common: never rent a place before inspecting the premises in person.
Landlords cannot discriminate.
A landlord cannot decline to rent to you under several grounds of discrimination, including citizenship, race, disability, or age.
Landlords cannot prevent visitors.
Your landlord cannot prevent you from having friends visit or stay with you, but can forbid you from having parties that disrupt neighbours.
Tenant Survival Guide: Moving Out
Your lease does not automatically end.
If you plan on moving out, you must give your landlord AT LEAST 60 days’ notice, backdated from the end of the rental term.
One last clean-up.
Tenants have a responsibility to keep their apartments “reasonably clean”. Cleaning the apartment before moving out will generally help tenants avoid a cleaning bill.
Take pictures of your apartment before leaving.
Collecting evidence helps ensure you won’t get charged for undue cleaning expenses.
Pro tip: Ask your landlord to conduct a move-out inspection.
If nothing comes up during the inspection, ask your landlord to prepare AND sign a document acknowledging the acceptable condition of the unit. The document demonstrates that you have fulfilled your obligations as a tenant.
Tenant Survival Guide: Things Landlords Can’t Do (But Do Anyway)
Charge a damage deposit that doesn’t apply to rent.
Your landlord is only allowed to charge a security deposit equal to one month’s rent. This deposit MUST go toward your last month’s rent.
Prevent you from having visitors.
Your landlord is not allowed to prevent you from having people visit, or stay with you. They can forbid you from having parties that disrupt neighbours.
Charge you for repairs and maintenance.
Unless you are responsible for specific damages, you are only liable for reasonable cleanliness of your unit. Landlords are repsonsible for “normal wear and tear”.
Impose “no-pet” clauses.
“No-pet” clauses are void and cannot be enforced by your landlord.
Discriminate against you.
Landlords cannot discriminate against you under the Ontario Human Rights Code. The Residential Tenancies Act also states landlords cannot discriminate when you cohabit or have children.