Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Attention Landlords and Tenants in Ontario – Ontario Standard Leases Are Coming

Are you a landlord or tenant in Ontario? If you are, or are considering becoming one in the near future, we have a timely post for you today.  Mandatory changes are coming to residential lease agreements in the province, and here is what you need to know.

What is Happening With Residential Leases In Ontario?
Landlords of most private residential units in Ontario must start using the standard lease template for all new leases.

When Is This Starting?
These standard leases must be used in Ontario starting April 30, 2018.

Who Decided This?
The Ontario Liberal Government – through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs/Ministry of Housing.

Where Can I Find a Copy of this Standard Lease?
Visit the Central Forms Repository on the Government of Ontario website to download the form.

What is the Purpose of this Standard Lease?
Three primary reasons are stated:
  1. To help landlords and tenants understand their rights.
  2. Reduce illegal terms in leases and misunderstandings regarding verbal agreements.
  3. Reduce the need for Landlord Tenant Board (LTB) hearings to resolves disputes.

What Else Should I Know About Standard Leases?
In the leases, there are mandatory terms (that must be completed and cannot be altered), there are optional additional terms (which allow for unique terms to be agreed to by landlord/tenant) and general information on rights and responsibilities (Ie. subletting, pets, guests, etc).

What Are Our Thoughts On This Issue?
Whether we like it out not it, this will soon be the law. So we will have to deal with it and adapt. First impression is that it will further swing the pendulum towards tenant rights more so than it already is. But fingers crossed that if it doesn’t work the way it is expected to, or if it causes specific problems related to clauses, etc., the government will listen to feedback from the industry and amend this standard lease to get it right.
What are your thoughts on the Standard Lease? We’d love to hear from your landlord/tenant perspective.

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