CRB Program Blog

Tenants Rights: What to Expect When Renting An Apartment in Ontario

Posted by Ted Whitehead on Fri, May 20, 2011

Where you live is your home, rental apartment property or not. It’s the place where you can relax and enjoy family and friends, and find refuge from the outside world.

Apartment renters pay for the privilege of living in units with a comfort in knowing all the standards needs of their home are met by their landlord and property management team. These have to do with safety, privacy, dignity and quality of life, and are outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act which came into effect January 31, 2007.

There are key responsibilities as a tenant to adhere to and are outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act as follows:

  • The tenant is responsible for ordinary cleanliness of the rental unit, except to the extent that the tenancy agreement requires the landlord to clean it.
  • The tenant is responsible for the repair of undue damage to the rental unit or residential complex caused by the wilful or negligent conduct of the tenant.
  • A tenant shall not alter the locking system on a door giving entry to a rental unit or residential complex or cause the locking system to be altered during the tenant’s occupancy of the rental unit without the consent of the landlord
  • If a tenant alters a locking system, contrary to subsection (1), the landlord may apply to the Board for an order determining that the tenant has altered the locking system on a door giving entry to the rental unit or the residential complex or caused the locking system to be altered during the tenant’s occupancy of the rental unit without the consent of the landlord
  • The tenant shall not harass, obstruct, coerce, threaten or interfere with a landlord

Further, as a tenant, you have the right to live in a building that meets Ontario Building Code’s Standards and complies with local fire code, with the correct number of fire alarms and a feasible escape plan via stairs and exits that can be reached by all residents. Certainly, the building’s common areas such as hallways, lobby and any amenities should be cleaned and maintained regularly. Repairs to elevators, cooling and heating systems and swimming pools should be completed efficiently. Likewise with maintenance and repairs to the building’s exterior and the apartments themselves, such as plumbing and electrical problems.

When it comes to maintenance and repairs to their rental apartment home, a tenant should receive courteous, prompt service from qualified, trained staff and/or contractors.

It is important to know your rights as well as your landlord’s rights. For example, with respect to paying your rent the following responsibilities are yours as a Tenant with your Landlord:

  • Non-payment of Rent If a tenant fails to pay rent lawfully owing under a tenancy agreement, the landlord may give the tenant notice of termination of the tenancy effective between 7 to 14 days from the time of notice.
  • Contents of Notice The notice of termination shall set out the amount of rent due and shall specify that the tenant may avoid the termination of the tenancy by paying, on or before the termination date specified in the notice, the rent due as set out in the notice and any additional rent that has become due under the tenancy agreement as at the date of payment by the tenant.
  • Notice Void if Rent is Paid The notice of termination is void if, before the day the landlord applies to the Board for an order terminating the tenancy and evicting the tenant based on the notice, the tenant pays,

To increase the industry’s professionalism and help potential renters choose buildings where they can have increased confidence, the Certified Rental Building Program (CRB Program) was created to provide rental housing consumers with a quality assurance alternative they can count on when selecting their rental apartment home.

The Certified Rental Building Program requires property managers and owners to have good business practices and processes in place. Buildings that have been certified in the program are becoming the choice of an increasing number of apartment-seekers. You may not own your apartment, but it is your home, and as a tenant you have many rights that can help you enjoy a great quality of life.

To learn more about your rights as a tenant, visit the website of the Landlord and Tenant Board act where you will find a Guide to the Residential Tenancies Act. To learn about the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario, visit www.frpo.org, which contains a wealth of information for renting an apartment in Ontario.