Ontario's new standardized lease agreement is a renter's dream
Apartment renters, rejoice. A new province-wide standardized lease is finally coming to a residential property near you.
Starting April 30, any landlords entering the market on or after that date will be legally obligated to use a standard 13-page lease agreement.
Implemented by the provincial government, this new template is easy to understand, available in 23 languages, and is designed to protect tenants from landlords who include lease clauses that are actually against the law.
Examples of these illegal rules include forbidding tenants to own pets in apartment homes, or forcing them to pay a security deposit – both clauses which are not uncommon and sometimes unwittingly abided by.
"Renters told us that their leases were often confusing and contained illegal terms," said the provincial Minister of Housing Peter Milczyn in a statement.
Up until now, there have been no real guidelines for landlord-tenant agreements, making it difficult for both parties to fully understand and adhere by their contracts.
Many agreements are just templates downloaded from the internet and full of legal jargon that's difficult to decipher unless you're thoroughly well-versed in the LTB rules.
The standardized lease will explicitly outline what the landlord can and cannot include in the lease as well as details like the total rent and due date, building rules, and the rights and responsibilities of both parties.
Any extra clauses the landlord wants to tack on will be added as an extra document at the back of the agreement.
Unfortunately if you're already bound by an old lease, you may still have to abide to its rules (so long at it doesn't contravene the Rental Tenancies Act), but you may want to look it over again in case you missed any illegal clauses the first time around.
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