Area of Law: Landlord and Tenant
Answer # 428
Do tenants have rights if they only rent a room?Region: Ontario Answer # 428
Most tenants are covered by the Residential Tenancies Act, which sets out the rights and obligations of residential landlords and tenants. Generally, tenants who rent a single or shared room have the same rights as most other residential tenants in Ontario. However, if they share a kitchen or a bathroom with the owner or the owner’s immediate family members, special rules apply. Also, if a tenant rents a single or shared room from an educational institution, like a university, the educational institution can have special rules or rights that are not the same as the ones under the Residential Tenancies Act.
A tenant who shares a kitchen or bathroom with the owner or the owner’s family does not have a legal right to remain living on the premises without the owner’s consent, and can usually be evicted at any time without notice. The exception is if the tenant enters into an oral or written agreement with the owner and the owner breaks the agreement by forcing a tenant to move out early, or disposes of a tenant’s property. In both instances, the tenant may be able to sue the owner in Small Claims Court if they have evidence to prove their case.
If a tenant is evicted and the owner refuses to return the tenant’s personal property, the tenant should call the police. A local legal clinic may also be able to provide additional information and advice about tenancies not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act.
For more information about tenant rights, visit the Landlord and Tenant Board.
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For legal advice and assistance with a residential tenancy and applications to the Landlord and Tenant Board, contact our preferred Landlord and Tenant experts:
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