In­for­ma­tion about re­new­ing a res­i­den­tial ten­ancy lease in On­tario

Ottawa Sun - New Homes - - HOMES - BY DICKIE & LY­MAN LLP

On­tario, a res­i­den­tial ten­ancy is au­to­mat­i­cally re­newed un­less the ten­ant or the land­lord gives the other a no­tice of ter­mi­na­tion, or they agree to ter­mi­nate the ten­ancy af­ter sign­ing it. The au­to­matic re­newal is on a mon­thto-month ba­sis on the same terms as in the ex­pired lease other than the rent, which the land­lord can in­crease by giv­ing an of­fi­cial no­tice of rent in­crease.

The pol­icy be­hind On­tario’s law is to give ten­ants the abil­ity to stay in rental units and es­tab­lish per­ma­nent homes there, sub­ject to be­ing re­quired to move only for spe­cific rea­sons. Land­lords can end ten­an­cies dur­ing a lease if the ten­ant does not pay the rent, dam­ages the rental unit, dis­turbs other ten­ants or com­mits an il­le­gal act. (Ex­am­ples of il­le­gal acts in­clude as­sault­ing some­one at the build­ing, or break­ing the city’s noise by­law by making ex­cess noise.) Land­lords can end ten­an­cies at the end of a lease to move into the rental unit them­selves or to per­form ma­jor re­pairs or ren­o­va­tions, or for var­i­ous other rea­sons.

Ten­ants can end ten­an­cies if they pro­vide at least 60 days’ writ­ten no­tice to the end of a rental pe­riod (i.e. to the last day of a lease, or the last day of any month of a month-tomonth ten­ancy).

The au­to­matic re­newal of a ten­ancy on a month-tomonth ba­sis can neg­a­tively af­fect a ten­ant. Peo­ple who move to On­tario from other prov­inces, or from other parts of the world, some­times think that if nothing is done a ten­ancy ends when it says it ends. How­ever, in On­tario a ten­ant has to give a spe­cific no­tice to end a ten­ancy at the end of a lease.

What sign­ing a new lease (or a re­newal) does is to bind both the ten­ant and the land­lord to a new fixed term. The ten­ant need not be con­cerned that the land­lord will want to ter­mi­nate for ren­o­va­tions or for per­sonal use. The ten­ant’s right to stay un­til the end of the lease also means that if a land­lord sells the build­ing, the new owner can­not ter­mi­nate the ten­ancy any more than the orig­i­nal land­lord could.

Even with­out a new lease or a re­newal, res­i­den­tial land­lords in On­tario are lim­ited in when they can take a rent in­crease and in the amount of the in­crease. The amount you are be­ing charged is the guide­line in­crease for 2018. That is the max­i­mum per­cent­age by which a land­lord can raise the rent at a rent in­crease date that oc­curs in 2018. Your rent in­crease date is also cor­rect since an in­crease can only take place at least 12 months af­ter the date on which you be­gan to pay the orig­i­nal rent, or paid the last in­crease.

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