Desmond Brown

TENANTS: Know Your Rights 🏙⚖️

15 January 2019
Desmond Brown

With the rental vacancy rate so low in Toronto, it's very difficult for people to find rental housing. As realtors, many landlords are using us to help them lease their properties. When they do, the properties are listed on the MLS and are now open to other agents who have prospective tenants.

Rent controls and provincial legislation have often put landlords at a disadvantage. However, regardless of the disadvantages, I'm seeing many landlords and their agents breaching the Residential Tenancies Act when executing leases. Here are some demands I've seen by landlords which are not allowed:

  • Post dated cheques or automatic electronic payments (this cannot be demanded, however the tenant can agree to them)
  • Key and fob deposits that exceed the replacement value
  • Six months to a year of rent payments up front
  • No pets. (this can only be enforceable in a condominium where the rules and regulations of the individual corporation states no pets)
  • Eviction notices because the landlord has decided to sell (leases CANNOT be broken. If the tenant is on a month to month lease and the buyer of the property wants to occupy it, other measures must be taken as outlined in The Act)
  • Damage deposits (deposits can not exceed one month's rent which in the majority of cases is the last month's rent
The sad thing is, some tenants actually know that the landlords are violating The Act, but because of the shortage of available accommodation, they comply with some of these unreasonable requests because they need a place to live. 

For more information on tenants' rights, click on this link, renting-ontario-your-rights or get in touch with me. I'd be happy to discuss leases and any of your other real estate needs.