Area of Law: Landlord and Tenant
Answer # 438
Rights and obligations of landlordsRegion: Ontario Answer # 438
What are a landlord’s obligations?
The Residential Tenancies Act (the “Act“) establishes the rights and obligations of both landlords and tenants. Landlords are responsible for ensuring that rental units and property meet health, safety and housing standards established by law, and are reasonably suitable for occupation given the nature and location of the property. Tenants are responsible for keeping their unit clean and for repairing any damage they or their guests cause to the unit or the premises.
If a landlord violates a tenants’ rights or fails to live up to their obligations, they may be investigated and charged with an offence. These offences include: harassment, evicting a tenant without an order from the Landlord and Tenant Board, interfering with the supply of water, electricity or heat, entering a unit without proper notice, charging extra fees or illegal rent, and failing to maintain building standards.
If a tenant believes an offence has been committed by the landlord or the landlord’s employee, they can make a complaint to the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. If a complaint is filed, the Enforcement Unit will investigate the problem, attempt to resolve it, and may even lay charges against the offender who will have to stand trial in court.
What are a landlord’s rights?
Under the Act, landlords have several important rights, including the right to:
- select their tenants, using income information, credit checks and references, rental history, and similar-type criteria as prescribed in the Ontario Human Rights Code,
- collect rent,
- enter the rental premises, (in the manner set-out in the Act and under the terms of the lease), for the purpose of making repairs and maintaining the property, to show the unit to potential tenants, and in an emergency,
- increase the rent up-to the annual limit set by the government,
- evict tenants, in the case of a breach of the terms of the lease, or for a breach of the Act.
For additional information, contact the Landlord and Tenant Board, or refer to the Act. Visit ontario.ca for more information on how you can make a complaint and get help if a landlord or a tenant breaks a rule under the Residential Tenancies Act.
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