Renting FAQ

Some landlords say I can’t have pets. Is this correct?

A According to article 12 of the new (1997) Tenant Protection Act, this is not a valid reason to exclude someone from tenancy. You may be required to fill out a “pet form” acknowledging that you will be responsible for any damages caused by your pet. This includes your responsibility to pay for a carpet cleaning upon vacating costing approximately $70. Also, noisy pets may force the landlord to apply for an eviction. Dangerous breeds are not accepted.

Q Do I have to pay a damage deposit?

A  Ontario does not allow a damage deposit to be collected by landlords. A deposit towards last month’s rent may be required, but this is not to be used as a damage deposit.

Q My landlord is asking for post-dated cheques. Do I have to give them?

A No, if you do so, it is for your own convenience. Otherwise, neither a tenancy agreement nor a landlord shall require a tenant to provide post-dated cheques or other negotiable instruments for payment of rent

Q How do I give notice that I will be leaving my apartment?

A Written notice is required at least 60 days prior to your leaving on or before the 1st day of the month. Your notice must include your unit number and address, state the date upon which your tenancy will end, and be signed. If you wish to vacate before your 60 days are up, you will be responsible for the applicable rent.

Q Who pays PUC?

A  Depending on the rental/lease agreement, the PUC may be included in the rent, or you may be responsible. Read the rental/lease carefully or ask your rental agent for details.

Q Who pays for cable and phone?

A  Usually, cable and phone hook-up and service is the responsibility of the tenant. Occasionally, a landlord may include basic hook-up of each service as a promotion. Ask your rental agent for details, and make sure a note is made on your application form.

Q I am a student/person of visible minority/etc. Can I be refused tenancy?

A  Absolutely not. Any form of discrimination based on race, colour, age, sex, class, culture or sexual orientation (or anything else mentioned in the Human Rights Code) is illegal

Q What kind of information can my landlord get from me if I want to rent an apartment?

A  A landlord may use income information, credit checks, credit references, rental history, guarantees or other similar practices as prescribed by the Human Rights Code of 1997 c. 24, s. 38

Under what conditions can a landlord evict me?

A  Here are some common reasons to be served with a Notice of Early Termination: failure to pay rent; willfully or negligently causing undue damage to the rental unit or complex; causing a disturbance; overcrowding as described by a contravention of health, safety or housing standards required by law; impairing the safety of yourself or others; performing illegal acts or carrying on illegal business; any other act that interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of the complex by other tenants.

Q  Can I sublet?

Yes. Art. 18(1) of the Tenant Protection Act reads: “with the consent of the landlord, a tenant may sublet a rental unit to another person, thus giving the other person the right to occupy the rental unit for a term ending on a specified date before the end of the tenant’s term or period and giving the tenant the right to resume occupancy on that date.”

Under 18(4a, b) this subtenancy agreement, the tenant is still liable to the landlord for any breeches, and the subtenant is liable to the tenant. Basically, you may sublet at your own risk.

Can my landlord enter my apartment suite?

A  Article 20 includes that a landlord can enter your premises at any time without written notice in the event of an emergency, or if the tenant consents to the entry at the time of entry. Also, a landlord may enter the unit without written notice to show the unit to prospective tenants, provided: either the tenant or the landlord has stated that the tenancy will be terminated, the landlord enters the unit between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM, and before entering, the landlord informs or makes a reasonable attempt to inform the tenant of the intention to do so.

Article 21 includes that a landlord may enter with at least 24 hours written notice to: perform repair work, show potential mortgagees or insurer to view the unit, allow a potential purchaser to view the unit, or any other reasonable reason for entry specified in the tenancy agreement.

Q  Can I change my locks?

A  No, not without consent of the landlord.

For questions on anything not covered in this FAQ, please send us an e-mail.