Everything You Wanted to Know About Renting, Under the RTA

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1 Everything You Wanted to Know About Renting, Under the RTA

2 Legal Clinic Overview Legal services provided by clinics Ontario Works Ontario Disability Canada Pension Plan Disability Employment issues Employment Insurance Workplace Safety & Insurance Board Criminal Injuries Compensation Housing Education

3 Services We Provide to Tenants Information and legal advice for tenants who call the legal clinic (hotline/calls back) Self-help legal advice and assistance for tenants who are representing themselves before the Landlord & Tenant Board (LTB) Full representation and legal advice (i.e. we act as the tenant s representative before LTB) Duty Counsel at LTB hearings; this is brief legal advice and assistance for tenants on their hearing day Important Note: Tenants should call us immediately if they receive any paper work from their landlord, especially if they receive a notice of hearing

4 Residential Tenancies Act The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) governs relationships between landlords and tenants in Ontario The RTA creates the LTB and the Investigations and Enforcement Unit

5 When Does The RTA Apply? The RTA applies to all residential tenancies a tenant is a person who is supposed to pay rent in return for the right to occupy (rent can be in kind) roomer, boarder, and lodger situations included Except: The RTA does not apply when a tenant lives with the owner etc. and shares a bathroom or kitchen with the owner etc. a tenant shares living space with the person they rent from and that person is not the owner (there are some other exemptions which are not relevant to this presentation e.g. co-ops)

6 Investigations Unit Offences under the RTA Harassment Evicting without following the rules To withhold or interfere with the reasonable supply of a vital service, (hydro, water, natural gas or heating oil) For a landlord to enter a rental unit except in situations allowed by the RTA To charge more rent than allowed under the RTA Failing to obey a work order from the Board or the Maintenance and Standards Unit Failing to obey an order issued by the Board

7 Offences Continued To give a document containing false or misleading information to the Board or the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Changing the locks on doors to the rental unit or building without the landlord s approval or without giving a copy of the new keys to the tenant Failing to apply the last months rent deposit to the rent for the last month of the tenancy Failing to pay the tenant interest on the rent deposit when required Failing to provide rent receipts when requested by the tenant Investigations & Enforcement Unit press 1, then 0

8 LTB Application Process Landlord Applications Notice LL files an application Notification by the Board of the hearing Consent Order prior to hearing (possibility) Mediation (possibility) Hearing Order Last minute Payment (if arrears application) Tenant Applications Tenant files an application Mediation (possibility) Hearing Order

9 Tenant Rights - Under RTA Tenant Information Package Leases tenants do not have to sign a lease once they are in the rental unit or move out when it expires tenants do not have to renew their lease, it automatically becomes a month to month tenancy landlords must give tenants their address/copy of lease within 21 days (right to hold back rent)

10 Tenant Rights - Under RTA Discrimination the Ontario Human Rights Code applies in the area of accommodation (illegal to discriminate because of race/ancestry, origin, colour citizenship, religion, sex, age, marital status, disability, receipt of public assistance) landlords can refuse to rent to tenants because of a bad credit rating, bad rental history, or poor references

11 Tenant Rights - Under RTA Deposits key deposits are illegal damage deposits are illegal landlords may collect a last month s rent deposit; this is to be used for last month (i.e. not returned to a tenant after they move out) tenants are entitled to a set amount of interest each year, (this may be deducted from future rent, or the Landlord may use the money to top up the last month s rent deposit)

12 Tenant Rights - Under RTA Rent Increases landlords cannot increase the rent because a tenant has someone else staying with them or because they get a pet rent can only increase according to the guideline (2008 is 1.4%, 2009 is 1.8%) 90 days written notice rent can only go up once every 12 months illegal rent increases or other illegal charges become legal after one year

13 Tenant Rights - Under RTA Maintenance landlords are responsible for maintaining the rental unit in a good state of repair it does not matter if the tenants were aware of any problems before they moved in there is no such things as renting a place on an as is basis tenants cannot be evicted because they ask the landlord to do the repairs

14 Tenant Rights - Under RTA Privacy general rule is the landlord cannot enter the rental unit there are exceptions to the rule: landlords can enter at any time if there is an emergency or if the tenant agrees to let the landlord in

15 Privacy Continued the landlord must give 24 hours written notice before they can enter the premises between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. to make repairs to the rental unit to allow a potential mortgagee, purchaser, lender, or insurer to view the unit to allow an inspection by an engineer or architect or similar professional for a proposed conversion under the Condominium Act; to inspect the rental unit for any other reasonable reason allowed in the tenancy agreement

16 Tenant Rights Under RTA Pets no pet rules are void a landlord cannot stop a tenant from having a pet a landlord may refuse to rent to tenants if they have a pet tenants may be evicted if the pet is dangerous or causes a severe allergic reaction to other tenants

17 Tenant Rights - Under RTA Terminating the tenancy tenants who rent month to month must give 60 days written notice that they are going to move out even if they do not have a lease the move out date has to be for the last day of the rental period (normally the last day of the month)

18 Tenant Rights - Under RTA Eviction it is illegal for a landlord to change the locks or interfere with access to a rental unit unless the Sheriff has transferred possession of the unit to the landlord the Sheriff can only transfer possession of the rental unit if there has been an Order from the LTB ( Board ) the Board can only issue an Order if the landlord has filed an application to evict

19 Tenant Rights -Under RTA Personal possessions after tenancy ends access to unit to retrieve possessions for 72 hours after enforcement by Sheriff landlord cannot hold onto possessions because the tenant owes rent (distress abolished)

20 Enforcing Tenant Rights Under Tenant Applications RTA one year limitation period for tenant applications various tenant applications Tenant Rights Maintenance

21 Defences to Arrears Applications A tenant may raise in a landlord s arrears and eviction application any matter that could be raised in a tenant s application (i.e. maintenance and disrepair, landlord misconduct)

22 Websites

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