Ontario Introduces New Easy-to-Understand Standard Lease
New Mandatory Form Protects Tenants and Landlords
Ontario is introducing a new, simple standard lease that will be mandatory for private residential leases signed on or after April 30, 2018, including tenancies in single and semi-detached houses, apartment buildings, rented condominiums and secondary units (such as basement apartments).
Currently there is no standardized form for rental agreements between landlords and tenants in Ontario. The new lease form is written in easy-to-understand language and is templated to capture basic information such as names and addresses, the total rent and when it's due, and any rules or terms about the rental unit or building. It also outlines the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords, and explains what can (and cannot) be included in a lease. For example, landlords cannot ban guests or pets.
Strengthening tenant protections is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- The form is required for most new private market residential tenancies entered into on or after April 30, 2018, including tenancies in single and semi-detached houses, apartment buildings, rented condominiums and secondary units (such as basement apartments).
- It does not apply to most social and supportive housing, retirement and nursing homes, mobile home parks and land lease communities, or commercial properties. The government is planning to develop separate standard leases to address the unique needs of other types of residential tenancies.
- A standard lease guide will be available in 23 languages by April 30, 2018.
- There are approximately 1.25 million private rental tenancies in Ontario with an estimated monthly turnover of 19,000 units per month.
- Strengthening protection for tenants and ensuring predictability for landlords is part of Ontario's Fair Housing Plan, announced in April 2017, which included 16 comprehensive measures to make housing more affordable for homebuyers and renters, while bringing stability to the real estate market and protecting the investment of homeowners.
“Renters told us that their leases were often confusing and contained illegal terms. Landlords, especially smaller ones, say a standard template makes it easier for them to do business. The new form we developed helps balance the interests and responsibilities of both parties.”
“We appreciate the Ontario government’s work to develop a standard lease. The standard lease will help protect tenants by providing clarity around their rights. It is easy to understand and will eliminate much of the confusion we have seen in the past around residential tenancies.”