Padmapper released a rent report earlier this year showing Barrie as the third most expensive city in Canada to rent a two bedroom ($1,650/month), and the fifth most expensive for a one bedroom ($1,250/month). That’s an increase of roughly 15% from rental prices in 2016. With the Barrie rental market heating up, landlords and tenants alike must be aware of the new standard form lease that now applies to almost all residential tenancies in Ontario.
As of April 30, 2018, landlords must use the new standard form lease for most private residential rental units. This includes single and semi-detached houses, apartment buildings, condominiums, and secondary units such as basement apartments. This lease must be used by both individual landlords and property management companies.
Kathleen Wynne, the then-Premier of Ontario, announced that tenants in Ontario have had to endure illegal and hard to understand provisions in their lease agreements for too long. The new lease is intended to head off those issues by clarifying “understanding between landlords and tenants about what the rules are, what the agreement is and what the responsibilities of each is”. “We’re working to prevent those problems, those kinds of misunderstandings before they begin” Wynne commented.
If a landlord is not using the standard lease, tenants can ask for one. The request must be in writing and if the landlord does not provide the standard lease within 21 days of a written request, the tenant may give 60 days’ notice to terminate the lease early. Tenants can also withhold a maximum of one month’s rent upon making a request for a standard lease, but otherwise must continue paying rent for the rest of the term of their lease, or until its early termination.
The standard lease form contains:
- Mandatory fields that must be completed and cannot be altered or removed, including basic information about the tenant, landlord and tenancy terms.
- Optional additional terms where the landlord and tenant can agree on terms that are unique to the unit, provided that terms that are inconsistent with the Residential Tenancies Act will be void and unenforceable, such as prohibiting a tenant from having pets.
- General information for landlords and tenants on their rights and responsibilities. The purpose of this section is to avoid the problem of common illegal terms in tenancy agreements such as no pet-clauses and damage deposits other than rent deposits.
If you are in need of a real estate lawyer, please visit our website and contact one of our real estate lawyers in Barrie, Toronto or Whitby today. In addition to real estate, our firm offers assistance in the areas of corporate law, wills, estates and litigation matters. Contact our Barrie office directly at 705-812-2100, or Cayley Rodd at firstname.lastname@example.org.