If you live in Toronto, there’s a good chance you’ve either been a tenant and dealt with a landlord, or you may be a landlord renting out your property. While these relationships can be tricky to navigate, both parties have many rights that you should know about.
What do my rights include as a landlord?
As a landlord, you have the right to:
- Select your own tenants.
- Perform credit checks, search rental history, and verify references, income and criminal history.
- Collect rent and increase rent annually at the rate set out by the government.
- Inspect the unit when you give reasonable notice.
- Evict a tenant if they are in breach of the lease agreement or the Residential Tenancies Act.
What do my rights include as a tenant?
As a tenant, you have the right to:
- Not be discriminated against and denied a lease for personal characteristics, such as having children, being pregnant, or if you are of a certain sex or sexual orientation.
- Not be discriminated against on the basis of race, religion or marital status (however you can be denied from renting for having a pet).
- Privacy and a safe environment, meaning the landlord cannot enter without reasonable notice.
- Vital services, such as heat, electricity, and hot and cold water.
As a landlord, what’s the process for evicting a tenant?
There are a number of steps you must follow in order to evict a tenant, which include:
- Providing the tenant with a Notice of Termination form.
- Filing the notice with the Landlord and Tenant Board, applying for an application to evict, and setting a date for a hearing.
- Delivering the application to evict, along with the notice of hearing, to the tenant.
- Attending the hearing.
- If an eviction order is issued, the tenant will have a specified period of time to vacate.
Find more information here.
As a tenant, what do I do if I’m served an eviction notice?
You can choose to rectify the issue noted in the eviction notice. For instance, if the notice is for non-payment of rent, you have the right to pay the unpaid rent and continue to occupy the unit. If you do not rectify the issue and it ultimately leads to a hearing, then you have the right to present evidence on your behalf to the Board at the hearing, as well as appeal the Board’s decision or request a review of their finding.
How should the landlord and tenant handle disputes?
Disputes should first and foremost be dealt with between the parties by referring to the Residential Tenancies Act to determine if there is a violation—the Act is quite clear and covers most scenarios. If you’re unable to resolve the dispute, a complaint can be filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board.