LANDLORD AND TENANT: LANDLORD RIGHTS
- the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants
- the procedures of resolving disputes between landlords and tenants through either mediation or adjudication
- the rules for rent increases in most residential rental units and procedures to enforce these rules
- the role of the Landlord and Tenant Board
Small landlords, in fact, are doing honourable job by providing people with affordable and decent housing. It is a hard work and it seems that a landlord has more responsibilities than rights. Generally, landlords have the following rights:
The right to choose a tenant: A landlord has the right to choose a tenant using income information, credit checks, references, rental history, guarantees, and similar business practices as prescribed in the Ontario Human Rights Code. However, a landlord cannot select or refuse tenants based on race, place of origin, ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, family status (e.g. small children) or disability.
The right to collect rent: The main right of any landlord is to collect money – rent – from a tenant for a residential unit where the tenant stays. While a tenant is renting from a landlord, this is the most important landlord’s right. The landlord is entitled to collect rent, in full, on the day that it is due.
The right to collect rent deposit: It cannot be more than one month’s rent, or if rent is paid weekly, one week’s rent. The maximum amount of this deposit is the same as the rent for 1 rental period (for example, 1 month or 1 week). This deposit must be used as the rent payment for the last month or week of your tenancy. It cannot be used for any other reason, such as to pay for damages. A landlord must pay interest on the deposit every year.
The right to increase the rent: A landlord can increase the rent once in a 12-month period. However, a landlord must follow rent increase guidelines. There are special rules that limit how often a landlord can increase the rent and by how much. In most cases, a landlord can increase the rent only once a year by the guideline that is set by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. A landlord must give a tenant at least 90 days notice in writing of any rent increase and this notice must be on the proper form.
The right to enter the rental unit: A landlord may enter the rental unit in order to complete maintenance or repairs, to show the unit to a potential tenant, or in an emergency. However, the landlord must follow certain entry guidelines.
The right to end tenancy: The Residential Tenancies Act defines the circumstances under which a tenancy may be terminated and establishes specific notice requirements which vary depending on the notice being given. There may be an agreement to end tenancy; notice of tenancy could be terminated before end of the term; or tenancy could be terminated at end of the term. The Act permits a landlord to terminate a tenancy at the end of the rental period or term for specific reasons including:
- landlord’s own use
- purchaser’s own use
- demolition, conversion or repairs
The right to evict a tenant: The Residential Tenancies Act permits a landlord to terminate a tenancy early for several reasons. In some situations, a landlord can evict a tenant. Most provisions for early termination of tenancy provide a tenant the option of avoiding termination by correcting the problem within a specific time frame. If a landlord gives a tenant(s) a notice that he/she wants them to leave, and they do not agree, a landlord have the right to file an application and have a hearing with the Landlord and Tenant Board. If a tenant does not agree with what is in the notice, they do not have to move out of the unit. This means the landlord would be required to apply for an eviction hearing and order through the Landlord and Tenant Board. A landlord may terminate a tenancy early for specific grounds including (but not limited to):
- non-payment of rent
- persistent late payments
- undue damage
- interference with the reasonable enjoyment or lawful right of the landlord
- impairing safety
- illegal act
If you are a landlord and think that your rights have been violated, do not wait. Act fast! Do you know that you have to wait minimum 14 days after serving a notice of termination to your tenant prior to filing the application to terminate the tenancy? It can take up to 4 months from the time notice is served, until the Sheriff shows up to enforce the eviction. Often, it is not about money. In most cases, a landlord is happy enough to get the tenant out of their property. As a landlord you should remember, that at Landlord and Tenant Board you will not be provided with any legal advice. Contact CP Paralegal Services as soon as rent is late, and we will prepare the proper notice for you and fight for your rights.
CP Paralegal Services can give you an advice on all residential tenancy matters or represent you at the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board.
We are licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada and can ensure you are in compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act.