Landlord and tenant
Everyone needs safe, decent, stable housing as fundamental to wellbeing is having appropriate accommodation and shelter. There are various laws and regulations that govern the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords. With something as important as housing and accommodation, make sure you have a LawVo legal professional by your side to protect your rights. Whether you’re a landlord that is dealing with a tenant that is delinquent with their rent payments and want to evict? Or you’re a tenant that feels that an eviction notice you received is unlawful and you are facing the prospect of not having decent accommodation, LawVo is here for you.
What is Landlord Tenant Law?
Landlord-tenant law includes rights and obligations each landlord and each tenant has with regard to the rental property. Both parties need to know the basics of renting a place, how to collect or pay security deposits, the basic laws regarding fair housing, and more.
If you are a landlord, you may need help evicting a tenant because of unpaid rent. Tenants, on the other hand, may need help understanding their rights to tenant safety, how security deposits are returned, and whether they can sublet the rental property.
The landlord-tenant relationship is outlined in the lease agreement, which protects both landlords’ and tenants’ rights. Most provinces also recognize lease agreements made orally, but only for a period of one year or less.
A typical lease agreement includes:
- The names of the parties involved (landlord and tenants)
- Address and description of the rental unit
- Rent payment and date by which it must be paid each month
- Amount of the security deposit
- Whether pets are allowed
Sometimes, sections of a lease agreement could be illegal. New tenants should check their local laws if in doubt, but generally, landlords may not include any of the following terms:
There are various laws that protect tenants from human rights violations, including housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, familial status (although this is waived for some retirement communities), and disability. Some provinces’ landlord-tenant laws also offer anti-discrimination protections on the basis of LGBT identity and marital status.
And if you have a helper animal, such as a seeing-eye dog, a landlord may not refuse to rent to you solely because of a “no pets” policy. Other rights also include:
- The right to quiet enjoyment (living undisturbed)
- The right to livable conditions
- The right to a home free of lead poisoning
- A certain level of privacy in the rental property (e.g., a landlord may not enter your home unannounced)
Landlords also have certain legal rights, mainly related to the protection of their income investment. For example, a landlord may require a monthly payment of rent and the payment of other items specified in the lease agreement, such as utility bills.
Landlords also have the right to evict tenants, but it must be for cause (such as nonpayment of rent). They should also give an eviction notice within a reasonable time.
Landlord and Tenant Tribunals
There is a forum to resolve disputes among landlord and tenants. In Ontario, the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) was created by the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). Each province has equivalent legislation and dispute resolution forums. The RTA gives residential landlords and tenants rights and responsibilities, and sets out a process for enforcing them.
The role of such tribunals is to:
- resolve disputes between landlords and tenants through mediation or adjudication
- resolve eviction applications from co-ops
- provide information to landlords and tenants about their rights and responsibilities under applicable laws
Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, don’t navigate eviction notices, or troublesome tenants on your own, know your rights and feel protected with a LawVo legal professional.