Tenant rights and landlord rights in ontario

Governing or Regulatory Body

Landlord and Tenant Board

Name of Act / Regulations

Types of Housing/Living Arrangements Covered by the Provincial Legislation

Rental residential housing

Exclusions: co-op housing when it is occupied by a member of the co-op, vacation, seasonal or temporary accommodations: hotel, motel, motor hotels, resorts, lodges, tourist camps, cottages or cabins; inns, campground, trailer parks, temporary tourist homes, bed and breakfast establishments, staff accommodation for farm employees, business accommodations, non-profit housing in some situations, penal/correctional facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, short term emergency shelters, assisted living facilities, educational institution accommodations for student and/or staff, accommodation whose occupant or occupants need to share a bathroom or kitchen facility with the owner, the owner’s spouse, child or parent of the spouse’s or same-sex partner’s child or parent, and where the owner, spouse, child or parent lives in the building in which living accommodation is located. Certain rehabilitative and therapeutic facilities are exceptions to the ACT—for example, facilities that offer occupancy for a set period of time are exempt. Not all educational institutions are exempt.

Types of Rental Periods

All types of rental periods are permitted. The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) takes precedence over the leases, meaning that when terms in the lease do not comply with the RTA, the RTA takes precedence over the rental agreement.

Is a signed lease required?

No. If the tenancy agreement is not put in writing, the tenant must receive a notice detailing the legal name and address of the landlord for the purpose of giving notice or delivering other documents. The landlord is required to provide the tenant with this information within a period not to exceed 21 days after the start of the tenancy. If the landlord does not provide the information required, the tenant is not obligated to pay rent until the landlord complies. If there is a written rental agreement, however, the landlord must still provide the tenant with a copy of it within 21 days of the tenant signing the document.

Is a signed move in/move out inspection report required?

No. A checklist is considered ideal but it is not required by law.


Landlords can require a tenant to pay a deposit upon moving in, but the amount of it cannot exceed that of one month’s rent, though the deposit is not considered a security deposit. In Ontario, security deposits may not be required. The tenant’s last month of rent may be collected as a deposit, but it is not to be used in paying for damages to the property. Landlords collect the last month’s rent, or if it is paid weekly the last week’s rent, at the start of the tenancy and pay the tenant all interest that it accrues. In accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act, the rate of interest to be paid annually to a tenant is equivalent to the rent increase guideline of the same year that the interest is to be paid. This deposit may only be applied to the last month of rent. It is not considered a security deposit, because it is not used to pay for damages.

Key Money

A key deposit cannot require a tenant to pay a key deposit. The only type of deposit that a landlord is allowed to collect from a tenant is the last month of rent.

Post-dated Cheques

Although post-dated cheques can be suggested by the landlord, prospective tenants cannot be turned away simply because they refuse to provide them. Landlords have to provide all tenants with a rent receipt if the tenant requests one.

Renewal of a Lease

The lease can be renewed or extended if both the landlord and tenant agree to do so, whether with the same terms or different ones. If both parties cannot reach an agreement on this matter, once the fixed term ends, the tenancy automatically converts to month-to-month, if the tenant pays rent monthly; or a week-to-week tenancy, if the tenant pays rent each week.

Terminating a Tenancy (Lease): Notice and Timing

Before a lease can be terminated, both the landlord and tenant are responsible for re-negotiating the terms of the lease or terminating it altogether. Tenants are allowed to give notice during a fixed term lease if they wish to terminate, but only if the date of termination is not any earlier than the last day of the tenancy and is in full compliance with the RTA. Landlords can only terminate a tenancy for specific and valid reasons, as laid out by the official legislation, and they cannot terminate simply because the fixed term has come to an end. When a fixed term tenancy transfers to a month-to-month term the landlord is not able to force a tenant to sign another lease or agree to another fixed term arrangement. When a lease is renewed, unless it has been agreed upon by both parties, other than the new term of the lease, all of the conditions of the rental agreement stay the same with the exception of rent increases. The landlord has the right to raise the rent, provided a minimum of 90 days notice is given first.

In order to terminate a tenancy, landlords are required to provide written notice to the tenant, and the required amount of time for giving notice varies depending on the reasons for the notice itself. Please refer to the detailed online and print brochures: “Terminating a Tenancy by a Tenant” and “Reasons for Terminating a Tenancy by a Landlord”.

The tenant is able to terminate daily or weekly tenancies, as long as they provide the landlord with 28 days written notice. Otherwise, tenants are required to give a minimum of 60 days notice when moving.

Assignments and Sublets

Landlords can either approve or disapprove of a tenant’s request to sublet a rental unit/property. The original tenant can dispute a landlord’s decision to deny the tenant’s potential sublet or potential assignee(s) by filing a formal application with the Landlord and Tenant Board using the appropriate form.

Rent Increases: Notice and Timing

Ontario sets rent guidelines each year. Landlords must provide the tenant with written notice of the intent to raise rent 90 days in advance and they can only do so once every 12 months. All rent increases have to follow the official provincial guidelines. In order to increase rent beyond the guideline, the landlord is required to apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for approval. (Capital expenses are capped at 3 per cent above the guideline, per year for a maximum of 3 years.) There are, however, some residential tenancies that are excluded from the rent control provisions laid out in the legislation, including rent geared-to-income tenancies and tenancies where the occupant shares a bathroom with the owner or family member of the owner, although the 12 month rule and 90 day notice requirement are still the same.

If there is still a significant amount of outstanding maintenance, a tenant is allowed to apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to prevent all rent increases and above guideline increases from going into effect. In certain serious cases, tenants would pay all or portions of their rent to the Board until all of the necessary maintenance has been completed. This must be approved by a Board Member before monies can be paid into the Board and is ultimately at the Board Member’s discretion to determine in which cases it is appropriate. Because the RTA does not clearly define what qualified as a serious case, the Board evaluated each application on a case-by-case basis to determine its qualifications.


Rules pertaining to rent increases apply to an existing tenancy. After the tenant moves, the landlord is allowed to raise the rent for that unit to whatever the market will bear unless there is an order to prohibit rent increases due to outstanding maintenance work.

Late Rent Payments

If the rent is still unpaid the day after it is due, it is considered to be late. In this case, a landlord has the right to give the tenant a “Notice to terminate for nonpayment of rent.” The tenant has a total of 14 days to pay the rent if they have a monthly or yearly tenancy, and 7 days if they have a weekly tenancy. If the grace period passes and the tenant has failed to pay any rent, the landlord can file a formal application with the Landlord and Tenant Board in an effort to collect the outstanding rent owed.


There are a number of different grounds for eviction, but the primary reason is nonpayment of rent. Evictions for nonpayment of rent in Ontario proceed as follows: The day after the tenant fails to pay rent, the landlord is legally allowed to serve them with a notice to end tenancy early for nonpayment of rent, tenant has a period of 14 days to pay rent, if the tenant does not pay, then on the 15th day the landlord can pay a filing fee for Application to Evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent and collect the money the tenant owes; the landlord serves Notice of Hearing and copy of the application to the tenant; landlord fills out and signs a certificate of service as proof that the above documents were served properly to the tenant.

Unlike legislation in the past, there is no default process under the RTA and all applications will lead to a hearing. The hearing is held as soon as possible. If the landlord gets their claim approved, the Board will issue an order terminating the tenancy and evicting the tenant and this order will allow the landlord to work with the local Sheriff’s department to evict the tenant, unless the tenant pays everything they owe (which may include a filing fee) before the date that is specified in the order to vacate.

In cases where the tenants willfully cause damage, the RTA sets out of a 10 day notice period and tenants cannot invalidate the notice simply by repairing the damage. In cases of excessive willful damage, an order can be issued for immediate termination/eviction.

Fine Points

Landlord Entry

Situations where a landlord is allowed to enter the property may be included in the lease. Usually, landlords are required to give 24 hours written notice. The written notice has to detail the reason for the entry, the day of entry and the time of entry, which must fall between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. A landlord can only enter a unit without written notice if it is an emergency situation or if the tenant agrees to it.

May the tenant withhold rent for repairs?


Changing Locks

Changing locks is allowed, provided the landlord gives the tenant a key for any new lock that is made. A tenant is not allowed to change the locks without first getting permission from the landlord.

Pets and Smoking

Is a landlord allowed to refuse to rent to a tenant who has pets?

The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) does not address matters relating to individuals before they become tenants, so if a landlord refused to rent to a person on the basis of pets, a tenant could not apply under the RTA for this purpose.

Can a landlord include a no-smoking clause in the lease?

The RTA does not address smoking.

If there is a no pets and no smoking clause written in the lease and the landlord finds out that the tenant has a pet and/or is smoking in the unit, can the landlord legally evict the tenant?

A landlord is not able to legally evict a tenant because they have a pet in violation of a “no pets” clause in the rental agreement. The RTA does not address smoking. However, a landlord may have a valid reason to apply to evict a tenant, either for having a pet or smoking, if the pet or smoke damages the property or infringes on the rights of other tenants.


Under the RTA, February is considered to have 30 days for the purpose of the tenant giving a termination notice.

Contact Information

For general information about the Residential Tenancies Act and about landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities in Ontario contact:

Visit the Board’s website at:
Call the Board’s Call Centre: 416-645-8080, or (toll-free) 1-888-332-3234
Visit a Board Office: Find your nearest Board Office at

Ordering Ontario government publications:
Government of Ontario publications are available from many different sources. You can order in several ways:
Tel.: 416-326-5300
Toll-free: 1-800-668-9938, 1-800-268-7095 (TTY)

There are also two government information centres in Toronto and Ottawa — contact Publications Ontario for locations and hours of service.

Housing Help and Other Community Housing Resource Centres

This list provides contact information for centres that offer housing assistance programs in the province. Many centres offer a service to help landlords and tenants connect. (Main Web site)

Mills Community Support Corporation
Helps tenants find housing in the private market.
Box 610, 67 Industrial Drive
Almonte, ON
K0A 1A0
Tel.: 613-256-1031
Fax: 613-256-1185

Housing Help Durham
458 Fairall St. – Unit # 4
Ajax, ON
L1S 1R6
Tel.: 905-686-2661
Fax: 905-686-4157

Community Service Centre South Simcoe
Town Square
39 Victoria Street East
Alliston, Ontario
Tel.: 705-435- 4900
Fax: 705-435-1106

Richmond Hill/Aurora
10271 Yonge Street, Unit 303
Richmond Hill, ON
L4C 3B5
Tel.: 905-508-1877
Fax: 905-508-1237

Barrie Housing Support Services
320 Bayfield Street Unit 79
Barrie, ON
L4M 3C1
Tel.: 705-739-0485
Fax: 705-727-0280

Hastings & Prince Edward Legal Services Community Advocacy & Legal Centre
A non-profit legal organization that assists tenants in learning their rights and advocating on their behalf.
Hastings Housing Resource Centre
210A Front Street
Tel.: 613- 969-1748 x31
Fax: 613-969-1464

Housing Resource Centre
220 Colborne Street
Brantford, Ontario
N3T 2H1
Tel.: 519-759-3330
Fax: 519-759-1932

Region of Peel — Social Services
10 Peel Centre Drive
Tel.: 905-791-7800

Leeds and Grenville Social Housing Registry
25 Central Ave West, Suite 200
Brockville, ON
K6V 4N6
Tel.: 613-342-3840 ext.2129
Fax: 613-342-8908

Cambridge Shelter Corporation — The Bridges Project
26 Simcoe Street
N1R 8P2
Tel.: 519- 624-9305
Fax: 519- 627-0801

Salvation Army Housing Services
42 Harvey Street, Box 715
Chatham, ON
N7M 5K8
Tel.: 519-354-1430
Fax: 519-354-1919

The Help Centre of Northumberland
1005 Elgin St W., Suite 200
Cobourg, ON
K9A 5J4
Tel.: 905-372-2646
Toll-free: 1-888-698-3382
Fax: 905-372-2205

Georgian Triangle Housing Resource Centre
115 Hurontario Street , Suite 203
Collingwood, ON
L9Y 2L9
Tel.: 705-445-0643
Fax: 705-445-1656

Haldimand-Norfolk Housing Support Program
108 Bridge Street
Dunnville, ON
N1A 2Y1
Tel.: 905-774-4251 or toll free: 866-882-9910
Fax: 905-774-7858

Community Resource Centre
160 St. David Street South
Fergus, ON
N1M 2L3
Tel.: 519-843-7000 ext. 33 or 1-866-840-3249, ext. 33
Fax: 519-843-7597

Fresh Start Resource Centre
40 Baker Street
Guelph, ON
N1H 4G1
Tel.: 519-822-2887

Wellington and Guelph Housing Services
138 Wyndham Street North
Guelph, Ontario
N1H 4E8
Tel.: 519-824-7822
Tollfree: 1-800-663-0750
Fax: 519-837-6349

Housing Help Centre
119 Main Street East
Hamilton, Ontario
L8N 3Z3
Tel.: 905-526-8100
Fax: 905-528-1448

Access to Housing
Maintain a wait list for subsidized housing.
499 King St. East
Hamilton, Ontario
L8N 1E1
Tel.: 905-524-2228
Fax: 905-524-1199

City of Hamilton — Housing
Deals with tenants’ maintenance problems.
Housing Services
350 King Street East
Unit 110 (First Place)
Hamilton, ON
L8N 3Y3
Tel.: 905-523-8496
Fax: 905-523-5228

McMaster Off-Campus Resource Centre
1280 Main Street West, MUSC Lower Level, Room B112
Hamilton Ont.
L8S 4S4
Tel.: 905-525-9140 ext. 24086

Community Resource Centre
160 St. David Street South
Fergus, ON
N1M 2L3
Tel.: 519-843-7000, ext. 33 or 1-866-840-3249, ext. 33
Fax: 519-843-7597

Housing Help Centre
426 Barrie Street
Kingston, ON
K7K 3T9
Tel.: 613-531-3779
Fax: 613-544-3629

Home Base Housing
417 Bagot Street
Kingston, ON
K7K 3C1
Tel.: 613-542-6672
Fax: 613-542-6317

Housing Action Centre
41 Weber Street West
Kitchener, ON
N2H 3Z1
Tel.: 519-749-8305
Fax: 519-749-0519

John Howard Society of Victoria/Haliburton
31 Peel Street
Lindsay, ON
K9V 3L9
Tel.: 705-328-0472
Fax: 705-328-2549

London Housing Registry
379 Dundas St Suite 203
London, ON
N6B 1V5
Tel.: 519-434-3344

Housing Access Centre
379 Dundas Street, Suite 116
London, ON
N6B 1V5
Tel.: 519-661- 0861
Fax: 519-661- 4466

London Property Management Association
460 Berkshire Drive, Unit 102
London, ON
N6J 3S1
Tel.: 519-672-6999
Fax: 519-672-6462

Community Reach
850 Hartman Drive, Unit 104
Midland, ON
L4R 0B6
Tel.: 705-528-6999
Fax: 705-528-6990

Niagara Falls
Housing Help Centre Project S.H.A.R.E.
4129 Stanley Ave.
Niagara Falls, ON
L2E 7H3
Tel.: 905-357-5121
Fax: 905-357-0143

North Bay
LIPI — Low Income People Involvement of Nipissing — offers a rent bank for those who, due to an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances, are in short-term rental arrears or facing eviction.
127 Main Street East
North Bay, ON
P1B 1A9
Tel.: 705-472-1337
Fax: 705-472-4454

Halton Regional Housing Help Centre
1151 Bronte Road
Oakville, ON
L6M 3L1
Tel.: 905-825-6000
Toll: 1-866-442-5866

Orillia Housing Resource Centre
Suite 145, 169 Front Street South
Orillia, ON
L3V 4S8
Tel.: 705-325-3883
Fax: 705-325-3576

Action Logement
261 chemin Montreal
Ottawa, ON
K1L 6C4
Tel.: 613-562-8219
Fax: 613-241-1526

Housing Help Ottawa
309 Cooper Street, Suite 502
Ottawa, ON
K2P 0G5
Tel.: 613-563-4532
Fax: 613-563-8019

Housing Resource Centre
540 George Street North
Peterborough, ON
K9H 3S2
Tel.: 705-743-2272
Fax: 705-742-3015

St. Catharines Community Care
12 North Street, PO Box 575
St. Catharines, ON
L2R 6W8
Tel.: 905-685-1349
Fax: 905-685-3938

Housing Help Centre
129 Church Street
St. Catharines, ON
L2R 3E2
Tel.: 905-984-8955
Fax: 905-984-8838

Crisis Housing Liaison Canadian Red Cross
1460 Fairburn Street
Sudbury, ON
P3A 1N7
Tel.: 705-674-0737
Fax: 705-674-4310

COSTI — North York Housing Help Centre
Sheridan Mall, 1700 Wilson Avenue, Suite 114, P.O. Box 88, M3L 1B2
(Near intersection of Jane Street and Wilson Avenue)
Tel.: 416-244-0480
Fax: 416-244-0379

EYET Housing Help Centre
1350 Danforth Ave.
Toronto, ON
M4J 1M9
Tel.: 416-698-9306

Albion Neighbourhood Services
21 Panorama Court, Suite 14
Toronto, Ontario
Tel.: 416-740-3704
Fax: 416-740-7124

Etobicoke South Housing Help Centre
185 Fifth Street M9V 2Z5 (Near intersection of Islington Avenue and Lakeshore Road)
Tel.: 416-252-5990
Fax: 647-258-0606

Flemingdon Neighbourhood Services Housing Program
10 Gateway Boulevard, Suite 104 M3C 3A1
Tel.: 416-424-2900
Fax: 416-424-3455

Neighbourhood Information Post
2nd floor, 269 Gerrard Street East (Parliament Street Public Library) M5A 2G3
Tel.: 416-924-2543
Fax: 416-924-4748

Scarborough Housing Help Centre
2500 Lawrence Avenue East, Unit 205 M1P 2R7
(Near intersection of Kennedy Midland Road and Lawrence Avenue East)
Tel.: 416-285-8070
Fax: 416-285-5410

West Toronto Housing Help Services
2333 Dundas Street West, Suite 404
Toronto, ON
M6R 3A6
Tel.: 416-531-0841

Woodgreen Community Centre — Housing Help Centre
650 Queen Street East M4M 1G5
(Near intersection of Broadview Avenue and Queen Street East)
Tel.: 416-645-6000 ext. 1142

Unison Community Services (Formerly York Community Services)
1651 Keele Street M6M 3W2
(Near intersection of Keele Street and Rogers Road)
Tel.: 416-653-5400
Fax: 416-653-1696

These centres in Toronto are access centres for Housing Connections (the subsidized housing waiting list in the city), the Rent Bank, Share the Warmth and Winter Warmth funds.

(See Cambridge)

The Hope Centre
179 – 181 East Main Street L3B 3W7
Tel.: 905-788-0744
Fax: 905-788-0748

John Howard Society of Waterloo-Wellington
310 Charles Street East
Kitchener, Ontario
N2G 2P9
Tel.: 519-743-6071
Fax: 519-743-9632

Housing Information Services of Windsor and Essex County Inc.
3450 Ypres Avenue, Second Floor N8W 5K9
Tel.: 519-254-4370
Fax: 519-254-3450

Salvation Army Emergency Housing
906 James Street N4S 1S4
Tel.: 519-539-7235

Tenant Protection Act, 1997
(See provincial contact for publications, above.)

Residential Tenancies Act and Regulations
Residential Tenancies Act, 2006

Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 Ontario Regulation 516/06 General

Ontario Regulation 517/06 Maintenance Standards
(See provincial contact for publications, above.)

This page is published by the Ontario Government and contains a lot of useful information, from renting to social housing reforms and building codes.
(See provincial contact for publications, above.)

Landlord and Tenant Board
This organization was formed to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. The site includes applications, forms, notices, answers to frequently asked questions and standard organizational information.
(See provincial contact for publications, above.)

Landlord Self Help
(Toronto) Funded by Legal Aid Ontario, the Landlord's Self-Help Centre is "... an incorporated non-profit organization that provides information, assistance and educational programs to Ontario's small scale landlords free of charge". A selection of information bulletins are available on the site, which is currently under construction.

Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association
"An association of non-profit housing organizations which provide high quality affordable housing for low and moderate income people in communities across Ontario". Lots of information on housing issues including news and a housing search.

Central Ontario Co-operative Housing Federation (COCHF)
"One of 23 regional federations across Canada representing housing co-operatives and the housing co-op sector in their region. COCHF serves housing co-operatives in the Kitchener – Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and Brantford area of Ontario".

Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario
An association dedicated to protecting the interests of private sector apartment owners and managers. Provides research rental information.

Greater Toronto Apartment Association
Represents private property owners and managers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Over 200 property managers in the GTA belong to this association.

Federation of Metro Tenant Assoc. (Toronto)
A Toronto-based lobby group that is very active in helping tenants. They manage a tenant defense fund.

London Property Management Association
Represents individuals who own or manage one or more residential rental units in the London, Ontario area.

Landlord and Tenant Board: Brochures by Topic
Fact sheets on a wide variety of topics.
(See provincial contact above.)

Rent Check Credit Bureau
Billing themselves as "the landlord service bureau" this Toronto-based company offers a variety of services to landlords, including tenant checking, legal services and consumer reporting. Discussion Forums
An online discussion forum where landlords and tenants can ask questions related to their personal situations, with a particular focus on newcomers to Canada.

Barrie Municipal Non-Profit Housing Corporation
An association that addresses tenants needs throughout the city. Holds regular meetings.
72 Ross St.,
Unit #2,
Barrie, Ontario
L4N 1G3
Tel : 705-727-1101
Fax: 705-737-4085

Housing Help / Aide Logement
Housing Help is a one-stop housing information and assistance agency. Provides a broad range of services for both tenants and landlords from simple questions to dealing with homelessness.

Action Logement — Action Housing
Provides assistance to those experiencing serious housing problems in the area of searching for affordable, adequate housing, preventing housing loss. Serves primarily a francophone clientele.

Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)
An advocacy group that helps tenants assert their human rights with landlords.

Ontario Tenants Rights
Web guide to the Residential Tenancies Act, tenants' rights and rental housing issues.

Housing Information Services of Windsor and Essex County
Acts as a one stop shop for residents in need of housing. Provides listings for tenants and also helps them to learn their rights and responsibilities.
3450 Ypres Avenue, Second Floor
Windsor, ON
N8W 5K9
Tel.: 519-254-4824
Fax: 519-254-3450

Provinces & Territories