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The Ontario Government is introducing a new standard lease for all residential rental agreements in Ontario! All residential leases signed on or after April 20th, 2018 will have to be written on the new forms and this will include all single and semi-detached houses, apartment buildings, rented condominiums and secondary suites (such as basement apartments).

Where Can I Download a Copy of the New Lease Agreements?

You can download a free copy of the agreement from the Ontario Governments Website!

Why is the Government Introducing the New Standard Lease Agreement?

As part of the Ontario governments Fair Housing Strategy – they promised to overhaul the process and create a standardized lease agreement.  The purpose of the change is to make the wording of residential leases consistent across the province. For years, many agreements have included clauses and conditions that are not allowed in a lease as per the Residential Tenancies Act.

How Has The Wording Changed in the New Lease Agreements? 

The new agreements are written in a easy to understand language and go further in-depth than the current lease docs being used. It also outlines the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords, and explains what can (and cannot) be included in a lease.
You may have been using the same lease for years, not knowing that the clauses and conditions in it were not allowed.  For example, the new agreement states that a landlord can only ask for a deposit equal to 1 month of rent. Many (us included), have made it standard practice to ask for First and Last month as a deposit.  Another example is in regards to the NSF charge a landlord can ask for when a cheque bounces.  We’ve seen leases that require a $50-200 fee – a sum that is way over the $20 allowed by The Act. The new agreements very clearly state that no more than $20 can be charged as a fee for Non Sufficient Funds.
Although these items may seem like a change – remember, these were the rules all a long – they weren’t very well enforced or made clear in past contracts.

Is This Going to Change Rental Values

It’s unlikely to have much of an impact (up or down) on values.  This is more a change of process as opposed to a change of policy.  

Are There Exceptions to Those who use the New Lease Agreements?

The standard lease form does not apply to most social and supportive housing, retirement and nursing homes, mobile home parks and land lease communities, or commercial properties. The government will develop separate standard leases to address these other types of residential tenancies.

Can I Still Add My Own Clauses to the New Standard Leases?

The 15th Clause of the new agreement states that a landlord and tenant can agree to additional terms provided the term are written in plain language and clear set out what the landlord or tenant must or must not do to comply with the term.  If a term conflicts with the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 or any other terms set out in the lease, the term is void and cannot be enforced.

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    Mark Savel

    As a lifelong resident of the city, home has always been in midtown Toronto. In creating TorontoLivings, I wanted a place to share my experiences in the city, to educate our clients on the ever-changing market, and show people a side of the City that most don’t see every day.