Area of Law: Landlord and Tenant
Answer # 437
Tenants' rights and responsibilities when moving outRegion: Ontario Answer # 437
A tenant’s rights when moving out will depend on whether there is a lease and whether the tenant gave the landlord proper notice. The tenant will also be responsible for leaving the unit in a satisfactory condition, or the landlord may take legal action against the tenant.
Tenants’ notice requirements where there is no lease
If a tenant wants to move out they will normally be required to give notice to the landlord in writing. The length of notice required will depend on how often the tenant is required to pay rent. Generally, a tenant who pays rent every month is required to give 60 days’ notice before the last day of the tenancy. A tenant who pays rent on a daily or weekly basis is usually required to give 28 days’ notice before the last day of the tenancy. Under the law, the tenant is required to move out on a day before the rent is usually due, which is considered the last day of the tenancy. If the tenant gives notice to move out in the middle of a month, the tenant may be responsible for an extra month’s rent.
Tenants’ notice requirements where there is a lease
Normally, tenants do not have the right to move if their lease has not yet expired. However, if the tenant has a lease that is coming to an end, and the tenant wants to move out on the last day of the lease, the tenant must give written notice at least 60 days before the lease ends. If tenants want to stay beyond the term of the lease, they have the right to remain on a month-to-month tenancy and do not have to renew or sign a new lease.
If a tenant is bound by a lease and they want to move out before the end of the lease, they should obtain the landlord’s written consent to avoid being responsible for paying the remainder of the lease. Or, a tenant may arrange to sublet or assign the lease to someone else, provided that the landlord agrees.
Tenants also have the responsibility to leave the rental premises in the same condition as they found it, except for any reasonable wear and tear. If the tenant damages the premises, the landlord has the right to receive compensation for any required repairs or loss of rent due to the damage. If the tenant fails to pay, the landlord has the right to sue the tenant.
Visit the Landlord and Tenant Board for additional information.
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